US Virgin Islands Governor Holds Talks with HOVENSA Owners


By the Caribbean Journal staff

US Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh met yesterday with officials of soon-to-be-shuttered refinery HOVENSA and its owners: HOVIC, a subsidiary of the Hess Corporation and PDVSA, VI, a subsidiary of Petroleos de Venezuela, SA to discuss the controversial closure.

The HOVENSA refinery is the largest oil refinery in the Caribbean and the single-largest employer in the US Virgin Islands.

“Today’s meeting with the senior officials of the three companies was the first of what I believe will be several meetings to address their closure of the oil refinery, their proposed use of the facility as an oil terminal and their obligations under the existing agreement,” de Jongh said. “I expressed my deep concerns about the economic impact of this decision on the Territory, their view of the obligation to provide fuel to meet the needs of WAPA and the general community and the basis under which we preserve a relationship into the future under a business model that makes sense to them and is beneficial to us.”

The talks covered the future of HOVENSA’s St Croix site, fueling the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority and HOVENSA’s continued legal obligations under agreements with the government.

In his State of the Territory address earlier this week, Governor de Jongh called the closure a “catastrophic decision” that would affect the entire territory.

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