Above: the HOVENSA facility in St Croix
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Hess Corporation announced this week that it would be pursuing the sale of its terminal network in the United States, one that will include the sale of its St Lucia oil storage terminal.
Hess, which announced the closure of the HOVENSA refinery in St Croix last year, has been in talks with the US Virgin Islands over the fate of the site.
In a release, Hess said that with the closure of HOVENSA, along with the company’s “ability to access refined products from third parties to supply these marketing businesses,” the terminal system was no longer core to its operations.
The St Lucia facility, which has 10 million barrels of storage capacity, is part of an overall package for divestiture for which Hess has tapped Goldman Sachs as a financial advisor.
In December, HOVENSA and the USVI agreed to extend an interim agreement to make fuel available as the two sides continue negotiating the future of the site, which had been the largest oil refinery in the Caribbean and the USVI’s single-largest employer.
US Virgin Islands Governor John de Jongh said he noted the announcement with “great interest.”
“We believe this decision is consistent with my Aug. 6th letter to HOVENSA’s owners, and reiterated in my State of the Territory Address, that if the owners wish to exit the refinery business, they must agree to a valid process to sell the refinery to a willing buyer, or comply with all of their contractual obligations under the existing Concession Agreement with the government of the Virgin Islands and all of their environmental obligations under the law,” he said in a statement.
Hess had first hinted at the sale of the St Lucia facility in March 2012.