Business View Caribbean, July/August 2018

18 19 OPENING LINES pel new startup businesses, as well as support exist- ing businesses, and, ultimately, provide revenues for our government and our retirement system.” Two years ago, the government entered into an agreement with Limetree BayTerminals, LLC, a sub- sidiary of the private equity firmArcLight Capital, for the operation of the oil storage terminal at Limetree Bay.The 31st Legislature ratified that agreement,and it has proven to be an overwhelming success story.The terminal nowemploysmore than 750 full-time people, more than 80 percent of whomare U.S.Virgin Island- ers. To date,the company is payingmore than $11mil- lion annually in taxes to the government,has invested approximately$260million in capital improvements to its facility,and is in the final stages of a $100million capital project,building the single-point mooring buoy that will allowit to handle the world’s largest tankers. “Limetree has been a good corporate citizen, a good business partner, and has donated more than $1 million in charitable and educational contribu- tions.The Limetree Bay terminal has played a criti- cal part in the territory’s road to economic recovery. We have both worked hard on the restart of the refinery and I want to personally thank Jake Erhard and Evan Schwartz of ArcLight Capital, for doing business with us and continuing to invest in the U.S. Virgin Islands,”Mapp said. The Governor welcomed Robert Haugen, senior vice president of refining at Limetree BayTerminals, who will lead the refining operation. ArcLight Capital’s plan anticipates amassive capital investment in a compressed period of time in order to capture amarket opportunity in the oil industry.“Tim- ing is of the essence in completing the turnaround and restart of the refinery,”Mapp noted,announcing that, during the legislative process,ArcLight will detail its strategyand its schedule to employmore than 1,200 workers during the accelerated construction period. “The objective of the overall strategy is to have refined product from the St. Croix refinery in the market come January 2020,”he reported. Qualified U.S.Virgin Islands residents will be given preference in all hiring.ArcLight Capital will be required, and the local government will assist, to advertise and publicize all job opportunities for local residents. Residents of St.Thomas and St. John, who may be interested in working during the recon- struction of the refinery,will be offered a place to live while working on St. Croix without charge. Together, the amended terminal operating agree- ment and refinery operating agreement may bring an estimated $775 million in revenues to the gov- ernment over the next ten years, of which more than $600 million will be new revenues generated entirely by the refinery.Those monies are in addi- tion to the massive economic benefits that will be conferred upon the territory in general and St. Croix in particular, by the infusion of $1.4 billion in direct capital investment and the creation of as many as 700 new full-time, permanent jobs. Jake Erhard, partner at ArcLight Capital Partners, LLC, thanked Mapp for encouraging the compa- ny not to limit its engagement to a terminal-only transaction when they took over the refinery two and a half years ago.“The progress we’re making on the ground with the refinery assets would not have happened if we were left to our devices,”he remarked.“We onlywanted to buy the terminal assets, and Governor Mapp and his administration insisted that we include all of the assets including the refining assets into the transaction sowe abided and did that.” He said that one of the other salient features of the terminal operating agreement is the framework around the public-private partnership.“Of all the things, that was probably themost gratifying aspect of that transaction because it’s reallyproven to be a tremen- dous benefit for us,”he added.Haugen echoed Erhard’s comments and thanked the government for its support of a large,challenging and exciting project.