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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, June 26, 2022


Beal Aerospace is "abandoning" its plans for St. Croix, despite comments by Beal officials as recently as this week that the company still wanted to build its world headquarters and rocket-assembly plant on the island.
In a brief, three-sentence statement to the media Friday afternoon, Wade Gates, Beal’s director of corporate affairs, said the company is "abandoning efforts to build its corporate offices and primary assembly facility on St. Croix. Beal Aerospace will continue to explore its expansion opportunities in the continental United States."
Gates said in the release that the company would not comment further and he didn’t return a call Friday evening.
Beal’s announcement comes after news earlier this week that the State of Florida offered the company an unspecified incentive package to locate the assembly and headquarters facility with the Spaceport Florida Authority at Cape Canaveral. The Spaceport Authority provides financing, advocacy, technical support, business incentives and facility/infrastructure development for space-related projects.
Despite the offer from Florida, Gates said Beal planned to pursue the St. Croix development because it is located near the company’s possible launch sites in Guyana and Anguilla.
Another possible factor in the company’s decision to pull out of St. Croix was a recent legal decision made in Territorial Court. Caribbean Space Technologies, an affiliate of Beal Aerospace, and the V.I. government were blocked by Territorial Court Judge Alphonso Andrews on Dec. 15 from implementing a land exchange agreement that would have given the company public property in order for it to construct its facility.
Andrews granted plaintiff Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen’s request for a permanent injunction against the land swap that was approved by the Legislature on Oct. 5. The swap would have given CST 14.5 acres of public land, known as Camp Arawak, in exchange for land it owns in Estate Whim and Grange Hill.
Although CST/Beal already own 270 acres adjacent to Camp Arawak, company officials contend that they need the public property for a portion of the assembly plant and parking lot.
Again, despite the ruling, Gates said the company "vowed" to appeal the decision and was starting the environmental permit process for the project.
A lawsuit filed by the St. Croix Environmental Association awaited the company as well.

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