Limetree Bay Refining in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), has successfully resumed operations and begun production and commercial sales of refined products, Limetree Bay Ventures, LLC reported Monday.
As Bloomberg reported last fall, the former Hovensa refinery – previously owned by Hess Corp. (NYSE: HES) and Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) – had been shuttered since 2012. The Limetree Bay complex comprises the refinery, which can process more than 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude, as well as a 34-million-barrel crude and petroleum products storage and marine terminal facility, stated Limetree Bay Ventures, a portfolio company of institutional investor EIG Global Energy Partners.
In the 1970s the refinery boasted 650,000 bpd of processing capacity, according to a 2018 Reuters report.
“We are thrilled to commence operations and begin producing quality fuels for our customers,” commented Jeffrey Rinker, CEO of Limetree. “As we move into Limetree’s next chapter of commercial operations, I believe we are well positioned to succeed. In these difficult economic times, we are thankful to be able to support growth in the local economy and be a source of significant local employment for many years to come.”
Limetree pointed out the St. Croix complex is well-placed to process growing supplies of Latin American sour crudes to meet consumer demand in the Caribbean, Central and South America, and U.S. East Coast.
“The restart of a refinery is a complicated endeavor, requiring a first-class team of employees and contractors and a collaborative partnership between business and government,” stated Rinker. “We have been able to restart operations due to the continued perseverance and efforts of our business partners, employees, investors and local government officials, overcoming challenges including Hurricane Maria and the COVID-19 pandemic.”
USVI Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. noted the Limetree Bay Refinery restart follows “years of hard work” and represents a “big victory” for St. Croix and the territory.
“In these difficult economic times, I am very pleased that the refinery is creating hundreds of well-paying, quality jobs for USVI workers,” remarked Bryan. “Limetree – thanks to its leading, global investors and business partners – has delivered on its promise to create world-class facilities that are well-situated to meet growing demands in the region and deliver local economic development to the USVI.”