Above: the Hess terminal in St Lucia (Photo: Hess)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
St Lucia is taking a wait-and-see approach on the potential sale of the Hess crude oil refined products and storage terminal at Cul de Sac.
Hess informed Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony of the decision to sell the facility earlier this month, but it is possible that the terminal could remain on the island if a satisfactory sale is not made, Anthony said.
“If the sale does go through and ones does now know, because in the discussion [with Hess] that followed the disclosure, Hess Oil Corporation did indicate that if they do not get a sale in accordance with the terms they have every intention to remain here,” Anthony said. “So we shall see, but they have indicated that they prefer to focus on oil exploration instead of the buying and selling or distribution of fuel.”
Hess recently shut down another terminal, the HOVENSA refinery in St Croix, which was a joint venture between Hess and PetroCaribe. It has not disclosed the potential price it is seeking.
The St Lucia terminal has a storage capacity of 10 million barrels.
Regardless of the outcome, Anthony said the country needs to consider a “broader rationalisation” of its energy needs.
According to Anthony, he has received authorisation from Parliament for $2.8 million from the International Development Association for the establishment and operationalisation of the OECS Eastern Caribbean Energy Regulatory Authority project.
“ECERA comes on board just at the right time, because, very clearly, as the experience of ECTEL shows, not only do we need an independent regulatory regime, but also we need to be pointed in the right direction where the use of alternative energy is concerned,” he said. “So, in effect, ECERA will better help us to deal with the issue of fairness in pricing and will also assist us to look at our energy sector and bring together experts and technocrats to offer advice across the region.”
Anthony explained to Parliament that St Lucia would not be required to repay the loan in full until 2046.