US Virgin Islands finds buyer for former Hovensa oil refinery

Energy Associated Press

The U.S. Virgin Islands' governor says the owners of the former Hovensa oil refinery in St. Croix have found a buyer.

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John De Jongh Jr. says Atlantic Basin Refining Inc. has reached a 22-year agreement with the owners and the government. He said the company was formed specifically to buy the refinery that closed in early 2012 after years of weak demand and high operating costs.

He said in a release late Monday that the buyer is required to rebuild and restart the refinery, employ more than 700 workers and make more than $1.6 billion in fixed payments.

De Jongh Jr. said refinery construction and rehabilitation could take up to two years and cost more than $1 billion.

Legislators have to approve the agreement before the sale is final.