Ingraham’s Improved Baha Mar Deal To Be Approved

Wednesday 17th, November 2010 / 08:21 Published by

As a result of negotiations between Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham and the Chinese, and subsequent negotiations between the Chinese and Baha Mar, subcontracts to Bahamians in connection with the Baha Mar project will increase from $200 million to $400 million.

“This will be the largest award of contracts to Bahamian contractors on a single project. Contracts will be awarded to large, medium, small-scale and individual contractors. This is in keeping with my government’s commitment to deepening and broadening economic opportunities for all Bahamians,” said Ingraham yesterday at a news conference at the British Colonial Hilton.

Ingraham used the news conference to update the country on his recent visit to China. During the trip, he met with Baha Mar’s partners – China Export-Import Bank (China Eximbank) and China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) – about potential changes to the $2.6 billion Cable Beach development.

Before those meetings, Ingraham had expressed concern about several components of the project. These concerns included the resort being built in one phase; Baha Mar needing equity partners; and that under the plan, Bahamians would not work on the hotel core.

Ingraham was not able to win concessions based on all of his concerns. He said there has been no final agreement on the phased entry of rooms at the resort into the marketplace.

However, along with the increase in subcontracted work to local firms, Bahamians will now work on the hotel core, according to Ingraham.

The prime minister also confirmed that he has been advised by Baha Mar and the China Eximbank that Hyatt will invest $40 million into the development. Rosewood Hotels and Resorts and Morgans Hotel Group will invest $10 million each, he added.

CSCEC will invest $150 million into Baha Mar.

One of the early hurdles to approval of the project by the government was the resolution of Baha Mar’s loan payment to Scotiabank. The bank and developer recently settled.

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