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Friday, August 12, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesFinance Group Plans International Market for Hovensa Refinery, DeJongh Says

Finance Group Plans International Market for Hovensa Refinery, DeJongh Says

Lazard Ltd., the global financial advisory firm handling sale of the Hovensa refinery, is planning an international marketing effort for the property, Gov. John deJongh Jr. said.

In a statement released Friday by Government House, de Jongh gave an update on the process after meeting with representatives of Lazard and the two owners of the refinery – HOVIC and PDVSA VI.

"I asked them to describe the sale process and the type of buyers that might be interested in the facility," the governor said. "What I learned was consistent with other reports on oil refinery operations. The large amount of oil being produced in the midwestern United States and shipped to Texas and Louisiana makes the Hovensa refinery on St. Croix an attractive opportunity for both domestic and international operations."

According to the governor, Lazard will market the facility through its New York City, Houston and Paris offices to capture as wide a group of potential buyers as possible."

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During the last year several senators have said they have heard from parties expressing interest in acquiring the property, and deJongh urged them to come forward with that information.

"I have reached out to the 30th Legislature and asked Senator Shawn-Michael Malone and the other senators to provide me with a list of parties that may have contacted them and expressed interest in the refinery," deJongh said. "I will in turn provide that list to the bankers at Lazard, so that these leads can be pursued."

DeJongh said all avenues must be explored to sell the refinery.

"We need to show the world that the Virgin Islands is open and ready for business, and that we will welcome and work with potential purchasers of the refinery. The sale will help stabilize St. Croix and the Virgin Islands, and we are committed to doing just that," he said.

On another subject, deJongh commented on passage of the Omnibus Territories Act of 2013 by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, noting his pleasure about one item being removed by the panel.

"I am very pleased that the requirement for a chief financial officer for the Virgin Islands was not within the Omnibus Act," deJongh said. "It served no useful purpose and I will continue to oppose such a provision. I am not quite sure about the intent of requiring the comptroller general of the United States to examine the process used by the territories to forecast revenues and expenditures, but if that was the compromise I will accept it."

DeJongh said that in reality the compromise probably won’t amount to much.

"Frankly, I can’t see the comptroller general spending any time looking at the forecast models used by the commonwealths and territories, or even states for that matter, some of which most definitely have more financial challenges than we have," the governor said.

The chief financial officer measure has been a longstanding proposal by Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen. The substitute language requires the comptroller general of the United States to examine the process used by the territories to develop estimates of forecasts for revenue and expenditures and make recommendations to enable territorial governments to improve their process for developing estimates and forecasts.

The proposal to require a chief financial officer for the territories would have been an unneeded burden on the V.I. government, deJongh said.

"The Virgin Islands has 18 elected officials, and this group, of which I am one, is required to come up with the answers and solutions to the governance of the territory. We cannot outsource our responsibilities or tough decision-making," he said. "Basically, it all comes down to leadership. With real leadership in place, problems will be addressed and plans will be put in place. Many individuals and organizations were opposed to the chief financial officer proposal, including both Chambers of Commerce, so I was not alone in combating the idea."

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Lazard Ltd., the global financial advisory firm handling sale of the Hovensa refinery, is planning an international marketing effort for the property, Gov. John deJongh Jr. said.

In a statement released Friday by Government House, de Jongh gave an update on the process after meeting with representatives of Lazard and the two owners of the refinery – HOVIC and PDVSA VI.

"I asked them to describe the sale process and the type of buyers that might be interested in the facility," the governor said. "What I learned was consistent with other reports on oil refinery operations. The large amount of oil being produced in the midwestern United States and shipped to Texas and Louisiana makes the Hovensa refinery on St. Croix an attractive opportunity for both domestic and international operations."

According to the governor, Lazard will market the facility through its New York City, Houston and Paris offices to capture as wide a group of potential buyers as possible."

During the last year several senators have said they have heard from parties expressing interest in acquiring the property, and deJongh urged them to come forward with that information.

"I have reached out to the 30th Legislature and asked Senator Shawn-Michael Malone and the other senators to provide me with a list of parties that may have contacted them and expressed interest in the refinery," deJongh said. "I will in turn provide that list to the bankers at Lazard, so that these leads can be pursued."

DeJongh said all avenues must be explored to sell the refinery.

"We need to show the world that the Virgin Islands is open and ready for business, and that we will welcome and work with potential purchasers of the refinery. The sale will help stabilize St. Croix and the Virgin Islands, and we are committed to doing just that," he said.

On another subject, deJongh commented on passage of the Omnibus Territories Act of 2013 by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, noting his pleasure about one item being removed by the panel.

"I am very pleased that the requirement for a chief financial officer for the Virgin Islands was not within the Omnibus Act," deJongh said. "It served no useful purpose and I will continue to oppose such a provision. I am not quite sure about the intent of requiring the comptroller general of the United States to examine the process used by the territories to forecast revenues and expenditures, but if that was the compromise I will accept it."

DeJongh said that in reality the compromise probably won't amount to much.

"Frankly, I can't see the comptroller general spending any time looking at the forecast models used by the commonwealths and territories, or even states for that matter, some of which most definitely have more financial challenges than we have," the governor said.

The chief financial officer measure has been a longstanding proposal by Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen. The substitute language requires the comptroller general of the United States to examine the process used by the territories to develop estimates of forecasts for revenue and expenditures and make recommendations to enable territorial governments to improve their process for developing estimates and forecasts.

The proposal to require a chief financial officer for the territories would have been an unneeded burden on the V.I. government, deJongh said.

"The Virgin Islands has 18 elected officials, and this group, of which I am one, is required to come up with the answers and solutions to the governance of the territory. We cannot outsource our responsibilities or tough decision-making," he said. "Basically, it all comes down to leadership. With real leadership in place, problems will be addressed and plans will be put in place. Many individuals and organizations were opposed to the chief financial officer proposal, including both Chambers of Commerce, so I was not alone in combating the idea."