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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, June 29, 2022


While officials in the V.I. government and at HOVENSA have confirmed that the refinery is owed money for fuel, neither party is revealing the amount due.
At a Senate committee meeting last week, Marc Biggs, commissioner of Property and Procurement, revealed that "HOVENSA is owed a substantial amount of money by the government" for fuel used by public sector vehicles on St. Croix.
Biggs, however, didn’t give an amount. And neither did Alex Moorhead, a HOVENSA vice president. In an interview on WSTX Monday, Moorhead said the company has been trying to collect since last June.
"I can confirm the government owes HOVENSA a substantial sum of money for gasoline and diesel fuel," he said. "Although we have not seen any results over the last seven months, we continue to hold onto hope the matter will be addressed without any need of interrupting service. We have been trying to demonstrate as much patience as possible."
Moorhead said that through correspondence with Biggs and Ira Mills, director of Management and Budget, he’s been told that the government is looking for a funding source to pay the debt.
On St. Thomas the government has a contract with Esso to provide fuel. As of Monday evening it was unclear whether the government owes that company for its services.
Biggs did say the government has looked into the possibility of barging fuel directly from the refinery on St. Croix to St. Thomas in order to supply its needs. The government has bought fuel directly from the refinery since 1997 for its vehicles on St. Croix.
As for the government’s plans to buy direct for St. Thomas, Moorhead implied that the government should square up its St. Croix debt first.
"If the current account is not addressed, we wouldn’t see it prudent to extend sales to the government," he said.

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