Nov. 21, 2002 – Hovensa on St. Croix and The West Indian Co. on St. Thomas will be the beneficiaries of private activity bonds approved Wednesday by the Public Finance Authority board in a special meeting called by its chair, Gov. Charles W. Turnbull.
Private activity bonds are issued by the PFA to be repaid by the business-sector recipients with no financial risk to the PFA.
A resolution approved by the PFA board allocates up to $25.7 million in private-activity bond funding to Hovensa. Alex Moorhead, the refinery's vice president for government affairs and community relations, said on Thursday that the bond proceeds will be used for the company's multimillion-dollar coker project.
Moorhead explained, "These are bonds we have to sell." He said a sale for part of the bonds issued in the past was being held on Thursday.
Hovensa's $600-million coker, which began operating in August, enables the refinery to process a cruder and thus less expensive grade of petroleum than previously had been possible.
The PFA board also approved a resolution to refinance and consolidate loans previously made by Banco Popular de Puerto Rico to the PFA and WICO, and to provide $2 million in additional funding for WICO capital projects through a new loan with WICO as the sole borrower.
Information could not be obtained on what projects WICO will use the funds for. Edward E. Thomas Sr., company chief executive, did not return calls on Thursday.
An aide to Kenneth Mapp, PFA director of finance and administration, said Mapp was off island on Thursday and unavailable for comment. Calls to two PFA board members, Finance Commissioner Bernice Turnbull and Ira Mills, director of the Office of Management and Budget, were not returned by late Thursday.
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