Vitol Signs Agreement For Propane Energy Generation in US Virgin Islands


Above: the USVI

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority has voted to approve an agreement with the Vitol Group to supply propane for energy generation in the territory.

The project, which is slated for completion in 2014, could reduce the Authority’s fuel costs by 30 percent.

The WAPA’s governing board voted unanimously last week to approve a 5-7 year agreement with the firm.

“I hope the ratepayers realize how much of a game changer this is for themselves and for the Virgin Islands,” said Acting Board Chair Juanita Young in a statement. “I was amazed at how thorough the entire team has been to ensure this project got to this point.”
Karl Knight, board member and VI Energy Office director, said the authority realized that “something had to be done quickly” to combat energy costs, which have become a major problem for the Caribbean region as a whole.

“The rest of the Caribbean is looking at us and this project intensely to see how our model can be used in their areas and throughout the region,” said Hugo Hodge Jr, WAPA executive director. “This project will give them an indication of how their islands will survive when the cost of fuel oil continues to be high.”

The US Virgin Islands has been grappling with even higher energy costs since the shutdown of the HOVENSA refinery at the beginning of 2012.

The fate of that site remains up in the air, although the government has agreed in principle on a sales agreement with HOVENSA.

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