CIG plans oil depot move

| 23/09/2014

(CNS): The minister for planning has said that government has entered into an agreement with a consultant to help it find an appropriate partner to not only move the diesel storage facility at Jackson Point but develop a much larger facility, sealing the island's dependency on oil far into the future. Kurt Tibbetts told his legislative colleagues recently that the current facility in South Sound is dangerous as it is now in a congested residential area and in the flight path for the airport. Although Tibbetts did not say where the new bulk facility will go, he said it had to be located in a remote part of the island.

As well as concerns over the dangers posed by the location of the current bulk storage facility as a result of the development in South Sound, Tibbetts told members of the Legislative Assembly duringthe recent meeting that it was also impossible to expand the current terminal, which was impacting the cost of fuel.

“The government is aware of the growth restriction at the fuel terminal site, which has a direct effect on the premium price we pay for fuel,” Tibbetts stated. “It is inevitable that we expand our fuel capacity to meet the islands’ demand and to do so we must make plans to move the terminal from Jackson Point to a less developed location on these islands.”

Answering a parliamentary question posed by the member for North Side, Ezzard Miller, about how much government was paying the consultants, Navasota, Tibbetts said that no cash had or would change hands between government and the consultant according to an agreement which he laid on the table of the House making it a public document.

He said Navasota, an oil and gas expert, is working as some form of agent or broker and will help CIG find a fuel supply partner to finance and build the facility and it will then take a commission from that company. The firm was one of the bidders on the original ERA tender to supply an extra 36 MW of power to meet CUC’s future generating needs, but the bid collapsed owing to allegations of irregularities surrounding the tender.

Tibbetts explained that Navasota would not be directly involved in the development of any new facility, but would do the research to find out what was possible, practical and sustainable for Cayman.

“The oil companies need a storage hub to hold fuel in a location that is close to their buyers, along with the ability to allow timely transshipment of product to buyers,” Tibbetts said, implying that the project may be much more than a holding facility for CUC and the airport ‘s fuel needs.

Tibbetts said discussions were ongoing but nothing would happen until there has been a full discussion with legislators. “We met with them very recently … and have an outline proposal,” he said.

According to the agreement, which is posted below, the new terminal would be developed in a duty free enterprise zone in East End.

While the movement of the terminal as a result of safety concerns is unavoidable, replacing it with a major facility that could include transshipment facilities may not receive support from the wider community.

The announcement also comes as Cayman is beginning to explore alternative fuel options from its costly dependence on imported diesel. CUC is in talks with companies to supply wind and solar generated power and a firm pioneering the development of ocean thermal energy is hosting an open house meeting in North Side Tuesday about a proposed project off the coast of that district. OTEC International (OTI) is currently asking input on a planned EIA for the floating platform which could see the first power plant of its kind in the world established in Cayman.

While there has been some cautious optimism and wide community support for alternative energy initiatives, a proposal by developer Joe Imparato, which was considered by McKeeva Bush when he led the former UDP administration, to develop a terminal and transshipment port in East End in the area close to the Shetty hospital received considerable opposition. A plan for an oil refinery in Grand Cayman also proved unpopular.

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  1. Raffaelle says:

    Anon 19;26 unfortunately you are very wrong the Pipe Dream is very real. So real  that certain PPM Members and ministers have now purchase the land in East End to make this a reality to sole benefit themselves but i guess that aint corrupt cause it is a safety issue Bobo. Yes This PPM puuppet government apparently has full immunity from their UK Masters.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Cayman Islands Government is also in possession of a report prepared years ago by independent consultants recommending the relocation of the propane storage facillity on Walkers Rd.In its present location it is just as dangerous as the oil storage facilities. Is anything being done about this?.                                

  3. Anonymous says:

    We have too many armchair experts that know everything, like Harden. Yes he went to sea, but was he ever in a position of responsibility like a Chief Engineer?

    Claims he was an engineer, but all he was was a mechanic.

  4. Anonymous says:

    So what is actually being reported is the CIG hiring yet another consultant. No doubt we will pay them handsomely to "help them find an appropriate partner" for the work which will take about 12 months.  Then we will no doubt get some more consultants to do feasability studies and environmental impact reports (another 12 months), then have a tender process (6 months), then select a successful bidder (6 months).  Then the whole thing will unravel when it turns out the procurement rules were not followed and the succesful tenderer was some MLA's brother's company, so we will start again by getting another report done and repeating the process (another 3-5 years).  Then there will be protests from whichever part of the Island will get the new facility, leading to an expensive court case (5-10 years).  Assuming that goes the government's way we can expect work to start late 2034 and be finished by 2040?


  5. Anonymous says:

    Stand by for nothing to happen.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Bear in mind that Rockefeller Brothers Trust has announced it's complete divestment of gas and oil to invest in alternative energy sources.

  7. Anonymous says:

    How about you build new oil storage facility next to West Bay neighourhood?  Big Mac might like that. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    18:55 – Thanks for clarifying and correcting what I thought I saw. Much less harmful. Guess the dolphins (mahi) may be running in those areas!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    No doubt the terminal needs to be moved it is disaster waiting to happen. What concerns me is the proposed bulk fuel transfer facility. While I am sure it has the capacity to lower fuel costs and therefore the cost of living here it is not a matter of if a spill will occur but when. We could not deal with a spill of a few gallon of oil recently. We need to proceed cautiously.   

  10. Anonymous says:

    Let's hope when they move it, persons will be prevented from building near to it private homes. There needs to be an adequat buffer zone for safety.

  11. 4Cayman says:

    What a pile of crock!!!!  When the rest of the world is going green, cayman useless politicians want to build bigger and expand oil storage containers, then pipe the fuel some 25 miles to CUC and home gas?  Mr. Tibbetts why not invest solar or in wind energy?  Caymanians struggling with the extra high cost of living due to CUC monopoly and you want to give another 100 years  of burning fossil fuel?

    i smell a rat and somebody pocket will be lined good if this deal goes through. Couple of things to ponder. What about the water table in east end? If CUC and airport is the major user why not build the tanks next to progressive? One final note, as the population grows from savannah  to east end, residential homes are being constructed.the next 10 years you are going to find these areas densely populated. So a pipeline running through the island wouldn't be more dangerous than keeping the tanks closer to its source?

    So east end is going to be the next industrial park?

  12. Anonymous says:

    ppm pipedream….

  13. Anonymous says:

    Thank goodness for Mr. Tibbetts.  This has got to be done sooner rather than later.

  14. Anonymous says:

    This will be no doubt interesting as given the district self interest any location that Kurt selects will instantly vote out the PPM.

  15. Anonymous says:

    There are two existing pipelines for diesel and aviation fuel from Jackson Point to the CUC and the Airport storage tanks which are used when transfers are needed and are not in continuous use.  Accordingly it is quite feasible to retain the two existing ocean side sites and transfer fuel by pipeline to a secondary storage and distribution centre which could be located in the Industrial Park area. 

    Relocating the bulk fuel storage to the eastern districts would necessitate construction of new pipelines back to George Town to CUC and the Airport unless it is also envisaged to relocate these to East End.

    • Anonymous says:

      CIG via CIAA controls a large swathe of dykelands behind airport (CI gun club).  This is a big area and would be logical and cost effective expansion of existing hydrocarbon infrastructure.

  16. Anonymous says:

    How about they find a consultant to help them build alternative energy sources. We depend too heavily on fuel in Cayman and it is far too expensive. We need to be moving forward not backwards.

  17. CrabClaw says:
    This is all fine and dandy, but I hope to God they aren't envisioning to place it on all that farm land, Government got up in EE as that would be one of the biggest waste of the little agriculture land we got left in Cayman, also where the heck dothey plan to haul the oil ashore as the offshore waters on that side of the island is rough quite a bit.
  18. Anonymous says:

    It's been in the flight path since the airport was opened and pretty sure that area of South Sound was built out at least 20 years ago. Maybe the old Blue Parrot has changed use a bit, but heck, they used to project football games onto the side of the storage tanks!

    The gas pipeline runs through the apartment complex across the road and out to home gas, then on to the airport I think(?), so if they are planning on moving it a long way from people you will still need to find a way of getting it to where people need it.  So either a very long, expensive pipeline or trucks.

    • Anonymous says:

      The pipeline actually runs underneath the road Phelan Close.It was originally planned to go through We Four but residents there who were "well connected" stymied that idea and it was then relocated without any notice to the Phelan Close residents.

  19. Anonymous says:

    SOME Day the Government will have to look for new revenue basis other than tax their over stressed/overworked/poor caymanina people for more revenue?

    They are not looking into new ways to help the people with electricity- instead buying the oil from Venezuela- shipping it to USA- then Cayman and then taxing the heck out of us on top of it? WHy use oil in the first place as a major source of electricity? But as always, if it solar or wind- someone has to have their hands in it and helping the rich get richer!!!


    Man, I see not future to this never ending cycle of schemes…………….You tap my back, I tap yours–it is no longer pleasurable for the average workign class couple to live int he Cayman Islands?

    There defintely ain't no Middle Class and the lower one is growing daily???

  20. Anonymous says:

    Any plans for a sea port terminal at East End is going to be greatly affected by weather, if built would see reduced ability to moor & discharge refined fuel.

    Building a sea port terminal on the windward side of the island ? Or is it the original plan to dynamite into the land mass of East End to build the port , jetty & sea-walls ?  

  21. Anonymous says:

    CNS, as this story is related I'd like to ask you to look into the existence of a massive oil slick I observed from the air last Friday afternoon September 19. I first saw the slick about 10 miles northeast of Grand Cayman and thought perhaps a tanker passing between Grand Cayman and Sister Islands had pumped its bilges. As the aircraft approached the island from the north I saw the slick off the coast of West Bay and it extended all the way down the coast of SMB about two miles out. I was shocked to see such a large slick in close proximity to the island but I was further appalled to note, as we came in for landing, that the majority of the oil was sitting just off-shore in the Jackson Point area and had drifted south towards the South Sound Cay.  Do you know if the Department of Environment is aware of this slick? Was there any recent tanker activity at Jackson Point?

    Remnants of this slick are sure to come ashore as tar somewhere on Grand Cayman within the next week or so.

    • Anonymous says:

      That 'oil slick' that you think you saw is/was seaweed. Go take a look on the beach in south sound if you haven't yet. And there is lots more to come I see it from the air almost daily 🙂

  22. Anonymous says:

    The only way this can work is if CIG can make a decision, stand by their word, then get out of the way.  So far they have not been able to get the first one done.  Face facts Cayman.  Nothing of merit will ever be done on Cayman until the voting public gets smart enough to vote in those who are smart enough to do the job.