By ROSE MARTON-VITALE
Hovensa completed the previously-announced shutdown of its
350,000 bpd refinery on the US Virgin Island of St. Croix, the
On Jan. 18, the company announced the refinery shutdown and said the
complex will be operated as an oil storage terminal going
That plan is subject to the completion of negotiations with
the government of the Virgin Islands, the company said.
Hovensa employees will continue working through a transition
period. Thereafter, approximately 100 people will remain to
work at the oil-storage terminal.
Hovensa said its losses at the refinery totaled $1.3 billion in the
past three years and were projected to continue, caused
primarily by weakness in demand for refined-petroleum products
during the global economic slowdown and the addition of new refining capacity in emerging
The low price of natural gas in the US, it said, also put it
at a competitive disadvantage.
In the past three years, these factors have caused the closure
of approximately 18 refineries in the US and Europe with capacity totaling more
than 2 million bpd of oil.
"We completed the shutdown with zero injuries and zero environmental incidents," Brian
Lever, president and chief operating officer of Hovensa,
The 350,000-bpd oil-fuel refinery is a joint venture between
oil company Hess and Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA), the
state-owned oil company of Venezuela.
Dow Jones Newswires