Miller: 'Where are LNG critics now?'

By NATARIO McKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

A FORMER Cabinet minister says it is "crying shame" that the Bahamas "missed the boat" on liquefied natural gas (LNG) 15 years ago, questioning: "Where are the critics now?"

Leslie Miller, who strongly advocated for LNG during his tenure as minister of trade and industry under the first Christie administration, hailed the recent announcement that Shell North America has been confirmed as the preferred bidder to constructing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuelled power plant at Clifton Pier to supply by Bahamas Power and Light (BPL).

Mr Miller, who has also served as chairman of BPL's parent, the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC), said this nation missed a golden opportunity with LNG 15 years ago, blaming fierce opposition from those he deemed "armchair environmentalists" for dooming the AES Corporation's plans to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal on Ocean Cay near Bimini. The project would have also included a 76-mile pipeline to transport re-gasified LNG to Fort Lauderdale in southern Florida, with AES even modifying its plans to offer to supply LNG to BEC. Both Tractebel and El Paso Corporation proposed similar plans to AES, using terminals in Grand Bahama, but these were also doomed due to the absence of Bahamian regulatory approvals.

"Those who opposed it should hang their head in shame and apologise to the Bahamian people," Mr Miller blasted. "It's being done now, and once it's being done for the benefit of the Bahamian people that's all that really matters.

"Back then they tried to vilify me and said I wanted to blow up the Bahamas. Where is the outcry today? Where are the critics now? Everyone can see that LNG is the way to go. It's the cheapest form of fuel. AES lost about $20 million on that project. It's just a disgrace. That will bother me for the rest of my life. We really missed the boat on that one. We're getting it now but we're going to have to pay for it."

Mr Miller added: "When I look at this situation with LNG, everything has come full circle. I don't think I will ever get credit. It was Dr Marcus Bethel, David Davis and myself who pushed it. All the records and plans are there. It is what it is."

He added that the Bahamas lost out on millions of dollars in annual government revenues which could have gone towards areas such as education and healthcare. "It was so right for us, it was the right fit. So much work was done on that," Mr Miller said.

"There were qualified Bahamians with PHD's who dealt with that. The critics just couldn't appreciate the knowledge we had gained, and the people we had around us who had the expertise. It's a real pity."

Comments

John says...

And they have discovered LNG even closer now. In Guyana or somewhere and it is some which is said to be TEN times the amount discovered in Venezuela.

Posted 16 April 2018, 4:02 p.m. Suggest removal

bogart says...

Fully agree with you Mr. Miller. You were correct on this one all the way back then which made economic sense to many of us.....but thoughts of immediate huge expolsions and shock waves from the almost immediate and inevitable explosion and tsuamanis ....tidal waves....that will wipe out the islands.....and the noxiois and poisonous fumes.... downwind ....and the owner of the island.....and how many people on that island...etc that the critics painted buried the project.

Posted 17 April 2018, 10:43 a.m. Suggest removal

bcitizen says...

I said a few days ago before this article when l saw the agreement to go LNG. That Mr. Miller wanted to do this in the early 2000s and if people would have listened the Bahamas would be way ahead of the game now. Mr. Miller might have his faults but on this he was 120 percent correct.

Posted 17 April 2018, 9:27 p.m. Suggest removal

propane66 says...

Didn't Potcake want Venezuela to sell us fuel at a ridiculously cheap rate over many years??????......How is Venezuela doing now?........bankrupt by those very actions.......We would have been screwed ourselves as Shell, Texaco and Esso would have pulled out.......

Potcake doesn't know a thing about the oil and gas business......like where would we store all the fuel?......last i checked the Govt doesn't own any fuel storage in Nassau......

Posted 18 April 2018, 5:52 p.m. Suggest removal

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