Hovensa officials have requested a meeting with the government of the Virgin Islands, and it is likely that meeting will be scheduled within the next two weeks, Government House announced in a news release Thursday.
Gov. John deJongh Jr. and members of the 29th Legislature met Wednesday evening on St. Croix to discuss the future of the refinery site, which Hovensa closed last spring. The officials studied the final report issued by Duff & Phelps on the refinery and the government's response to Hovensa's proposal.
The governor has insisted that the oil company reopen the refinery or sell it to a company that will.
"This was solely an information meeting, with no decisions made or final positions taken,” deJongh said, “but one to respond to any questions the senators may have had as they evaluate the report, consider possible options and assess any proposals that will be forthcoming.”
“This sort of open engagement is important to ensure that decisions are made with all parties having the same information to be able to undertake their responsibilities,” he said.
Also at the meeting with the governor and senators were Duff & Phelps representatives, Lt. Gov. Gregory Francis, Attorney General Vincent Frazer, Planning and Natural Resources Commissioner Alicia Barnes and Government House Deputy Chief of Staff Nathan Simmonds. Delegate to Congress Donna Christensen participated in the meeting via conference call.
Earlier this year, the V.I. Government engaged Duff & Phelps to undertake an assessment of the highest and best use of the Hovensa refinery site on St. Croix and the final report was issued on Aug. 3. Since that time, the executive branch provided each senator with a copy of the report and posted it on the governor’s website, www.GovernordeJongh.com.