US Virgin Islands refiner Limetree Bay Ventures has restarted its 200,000 bpd refinery in St Croix, Limetree Bay Refining, after several delays, and has begun commercial sales of refined products.

Limetree Bay Refining is able to process supplies of Latin American sour crudes and will supply markets in the Caribbean, Central and South America, and the US East Coast.

Limetree Bay Ventures, a joint venture between affiliates of ArcLight and Freepoint Commodities, controlled by investment firm EIG Global Energy Partners, also has an integrated 34 million bbl terminal and marine infrastructure, serving the refinery and third-party customers.

Limetree Bay Ventures bought the St Croix complex out of bankruptcy in 2016. The restart was planned for late 2019, after Limetree Bay Ventures reached a tolling, supply and offtake deal with BP. The date was pushed back to 2020 with plans to produce IMO2020-compliant marine fuel. However, an outbreak of COVID-19 delayed the restart again.

The company says that the site is now a “world-class energy hub and logistics centre” with an advantageous central location.

Limetree CEO Jeffrey Rinker said: “The restart of a refinery is a complicated endeavour, requiring a first-class team of employees and contractors and a collaborative partnership between business and government.

“We have been able to restart operations due to the continued perseverance and efforts of our business partners, employees, investors and local government officials, overcoming challenges including Hurricane Maria and the COVID-19 pandemic. Industry leading safety performance was maintained throughout the restart project and I want to thank our employees and all key stakeholders for their tremendous work and continued commitment toward making today a reality.”

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4th February 2021