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Limetree layoffs as of last night refining part closing ?

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sttanon
(@sttanon)
Advanced Member

Ummmmmm wife was getting a haircut today and heard from several people whose spouses work at Limetree

( not grunt workers ) that they were immediately laid off and that refining part at least was no more. We were at the mill waiting for a pizza and there was a bunch of Limetree grunts that were getting phone calls about a big meeting on Monday..... I hate coconut telegraph rumors but anyone know the story ?

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Topic starter Posted : June 19, 2021 5:27 pm
Knowlesstak
(@knowlesstak)
Advanced Member

No idea. 

In a letter to Limetree on Wednesday, the EPA directed refinery officials to develop and submit a plan to install, operate and maintain nine hydrogen sulfide (H2S) monitors and nine sulfur dioxide (SO2) monitors on St. Croix.

Refinery officials have 15 days to submit the plan.

Five of the SO2 monitors are already required by a preexisting permit, and “the other four SO2 monitors and all nine of the H2S monitors are being newly required,” according to the EPA.

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Posted : June 20, 2021 7:46 am
sttanon
(@sttanon)
Advanced Member

Kinda funny that EPA is asking for additional due dilligence from a idle refinery but no real news etc on why a open manhole is leaking H2S at higher rates than the refinery when it was operating.......

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Topic starter Posted : June 20, 2021 1:17 pm
daveb722
(@daveb722)
Trusted Member

@sttanon Don't you read Facebook, that's just a conspiracy theory to try and shift blame from Limetree.. everyone knows that. LOL

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Posted : June 21, 2021 7:51 am
daveb722
(@daveb722)
Trusted Member

I wouldn't be surprised, especially if they are claiming bankruptcy, why put more money in it.  They will probably sell it (supposedly they have a buyer if you believe some of the papers) and let them rehire everyone and incur the cost of correction.

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Posted : June 21, 2021 7:52 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

Time will tell, I suppose. Personally, I highly doubt the refinery will close for good after 3 billion in upgrades were just put in. EIG has much, much deeper pockets than Arclight and they own the majority of the operation now.

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Posted : June 21, 2021 8:16 am
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member

The refinery is a political target by the so called ‘environmentalists’, but the practical reality is we have only two choices.  One, shut down the refinery and wait for time and decay to allow for an environmental emergency that causes the abandoned facility to be torn down and the sight remediated, costing many billions of tax payer dollars; a catastrophe for the Territory on many levels.  Or two, continue on the path we’re on and complete the restoration of the facility, support the owners while holding them accountable to modern industry standards, so that the refinery reaches it potential and becomes a world class competitive facility that brings long term economic benefit to the Territory.  There is no reason the refinery can’t be run safely and in an environmentally friendly fashion.  Blaming Limetree on the sins of the past is of zero value and not relevant to how we should go forward, that is best defined by compliance with government regulations, conforming to industry standards, constructive partnership and sound management.

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Posted : June 21, 2021 8:25 am
speee1dy and daveb722 liked
rewired
(@rewired)
Advanced Member

Article about layoffs:

https://viconsortium.com/vi-business/virgin-islands-over-300-laid-off-from-limetree-bay-as-effects-of-refining-halt-take-hold

Limetree announced this morning that it's suspending refinery operations indefinitely but will maintain storage operations:

https://viconsortium.com/vi-business/virgin-islands-limetree-bay-suspends-indefinitely-plans-to-restart-refinery-due-to-financial-constraints

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Posted : June 21, 2021 9:40 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

I'm sad to hear the news this morning, but, I still highly doubt that the refinery will close permanently. There is a process to every bankruptcy and this one will be a long one, likely leading to a new ownership structure picking up the assets at a major discount.

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Posted : June 21, 2021 10:10 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
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daveb722
(@daveb722)
Trusted Member

SO the FB environmentalists are cheering this on..  Now I'm all for the refinery operating under safe and strict guidelines, but do these people understand: 

Loss of revenue, from VI taxes, to rental income, to spending $$ in the economy.  I'm sure the restaurants aren't happy, the grocery stores aren't and those that own rental properties (not here to argue the point of raised rents, that happened with Fema and continued on). I'm sure those that received grants will not miss it. 

The governor was proposing a two year budget, bet he didn't take this into account and I even questioned him on his FB broadcast and got some typical political BS.  The economy isn't strong enough to not have this impact it.

Guess we are back to tax refunds every 5-6 years.

Lastly, we cannot survive on tourism.  Last year was an anomaly with tourism, where was everyone to go?  No that things are opening up people will go elsewhere, maybe some will make the USVI there go-to going forward, but that remains to be seen. If we were better prepared, roads, island conditions for all that increased traffic last year, we would have better presented ourselves as a go to destination. but the road work, shitty roads and other issues will continue to daunt us. 

So in the end, we may be back to 2012, hoping tourism is our shining light, crime goes up due to the median income here and infrastructure only gets repaired due to a major hurricane.  I hope I'm wrong.

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Posted : June 21, 2021 12:34 pm
Knowlesstak
(@knowlesstak)
Advanced Member

So what will be the “Biden Effect”. Will he choose the economy or environmental for STX. One would assume he will go the environmental route, but politicians always follow the money. 

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Posted : June 21, 2021 12:58 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

@daveb722 

The VI Government is in much worse shape today then when Hovensa closed despite what Bryan claims. But, a bankruptcy is a process to shed debt so I'm sure EIG Energy has a plan to manage the assets through the process. With 3 billion spent to modernize and upgrade, I don't think the refinery is going to close and will emerge in a much better position with substantially less debt.

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Posted : June 21, 2021 2:14 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

The Limetree Bay refinery closed indefinitely because it could not get loans or other financing to turn back on after the May closure - and obviously had no funds remaining from its debacle of a restart. It hadn't paid contractors for many many months. 

If ArcLight Capital had not leveraged its CEOs friendship with DJT to expedite permitting and EPA clearances, there might have been due diligence to open the refinery with appropriate safeguards in place for the STX black and brown downwind community. 

At the onset, everything had to work perfectly for the high risk refinery venture to put money in pockets. And of course the past 3 years were very far from predictable in a globally bad sort of way. As it is, the refinery is a dead relic of greedy capitalism and the old white guy fraternity (and honorary member Ken Mapp, who lives in Tampa now) once again. 

Lets count who is screwed - institutional investors and their pension fund holders (like teachers and cops), STX, VI, families, workers, small businesses, etc. All because politics superseded safety and care - particularly on a predominantly black island.   

BTW the Bennington College connection is Judy Enck, who was an EPA administrator overseeing - surprise surprise - the USVI during the Obama Administration. She now is a faculty member at Bennington.

READ THIS ARTICLE

EPA: Trump admin provides 'customer' service to troubled refinery -- Thursday, November 21, 2019 -- www.eenews.net

About – Judith Enck

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Posted : June 21, 2021 2:24 pm
sttanon
(@sttanon)
Advanced Member

The refinery is a big target because its a visible target. I have family in the production side of oil business, lived lots of places where refineries are close by and never have had health issues. The lawsuits that have been filed do have some merit but also are putting stuff on Limetree that may not have been caused by them. The flume fire was not good but the flumes are in place as a SAFETY measure to prevent worse things from occuring. I dont think it is a good thing that oil sprayed peoples houses. The refinery should be held accountable and put measures in place to.make sure it doesnt happen again. That being said everyone has been so quick to sue over the odors that everyone just KNEW were being caused by the refinery. Well now we  find out that is more than likely being caused by open manhole which is by the landfill. Landfills can create Hydrogen Sulfide and Sulfur Dioxide... You know, the same landfill that the EPA has been trying to get shut down for how many years now? That is VI Govt responsibility and they have yet to be sued over it. We dont sue the cruise ships for what they do to the local environment. One cruise ship can release in the course of a day Sulfur Dioxide equilivent to the emissions from 3.6 MILLION automobiles. STT usually has 3-5 in port during a normal cruise season. 

I dont know what the future of Limetree will be. I hope that something can be salvaged and that further safety measures are put in place to be environmentally safer going forward. 

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Topic starter Posted : June 21, 2021 2:40 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

I don't think the closure is about lawsuits. Torts are frivolous and irritating.

It's about NO MONEY to repair, operate and make good on EPA requirements.

Deep pockets seem to have dried up for the moment.

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Posted : June 21, 2021 3:12 pm
sttanon
(@sttanon)
Advanced Member
Posted by: @gators_mom

I don't think the closure is about lawsuits. Torts are frivolous and irritating.

I agree but the threat of 4 class action suits I'm sure does concern the company to some degree. Frivolous or not its time and money that has to be spent that would be better served on the business at hand which is getting the refinery running in such a way that will make EPA satisfied.

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Topic starter Posted : June 21, 2021 3:27 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert
Posted by: @gators_mom

I don't think the closure is about lawsuits. Torts are frivolous and irritating.

It's about NO MONEY to repair, operate and make good on EPA requirements.

Deep pockets seem to have dried up for the moment.

Nothing like a good bankruptcy to clear away the debts so deep pockets can safely return!

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Posted : June 21, 2021 4:09 pm
daveb722 liked
daveb722
(@daveb722)
Trusted Member

@vicanuck I'm sure the finances are way worse now.  During last weeks broadcast I was asking how they can do a two year budget and the lady that must do the budgeting was trying to justify it that if he did a two year budget, the new administration wouldn't be inheriting the previous admin's budget.  That doesn't make any sense.  No matter what a one year or two year, it's still going into the next admin's term.  Hurricanes and this are exactly why the USVI cannot budget that far out.  It's not like a normal state that has a consistent amount of money coming in.  In today's broadcast he mentioned that he wasn't worried as there was 582 million in federal money that is good for 5 years. so now again, we are going to borrow against that for today and have to pay in the end.  Bryan talks a good game, but if you really listen to him, he's just trying to push things out to help him get re-elected.  Unfortunately those that have lived here for sometime, just accept it as is. 

I bet his budget doesn't take into account the rise in inflation and leac that they want to raise.  What a joke that is, they worked in a permanent raise in wapa rates last year and the psc let them all the while we all knew a temporary reduction in the LEAC was going to be raised in the future.  Glad I have solar. LOL

 

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Posted : June 21, 2021 5:51 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Question:

Would any single person who inputs their opinions here like to live within the 7 mile radius of this refinery?

Have roofs, cistern water, soil, your aquifer, health, children, plants, gardens, pets impacted?

 

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Posted : June 21, 2021 7:30 pm
jasona liked
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Question:

Would any single person who inputs their opinions here like to live within the 7 mile radius of this refinery?

Have roofs, cistern water, soil, your aquifer, health, children, plants, gardens, pets impacted?

 

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Posted : June 21, 2021 7:43 pm
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member
Posted by: @alana33

Question:

Would any single person who inputs their opinions here like to live within the 7 mile radius of this refinery?

Have roofs, cistern water, soil, your aquifer, health, children, plants, gardens, pets impacted?

 

I not sure this is a relevant question as the legitimate concerns you raised find their root cause in the past, so pointing to Limetree or how a refinery can be run is incongruous.  The technology exists today, and is constantly evolving, to safely operate a refinery.  Similarly, no investor is going to put money into a refinery project that wants to cut corners on environmental issues as one mistake can quickly bring the value of that investment to zero.  In this case greed is your friend.  Ironically, during the Trump administration the cost of oil steadily dropped making it increasingly difficult to justify any investment in Limetree.  Now with the Biden administration the price of oil is rising again, I saw a prediction yesterday of $100 a barrel by next year, so it now should be much easier to find investors. 

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Posted : June 22, 2021 3:55 am
speee1dy liked
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member

What might be a legitimate question to discuss is life on the island with $10 a gallon gas and no economic benefits from Limetree.  The consequences of higher energy costs, seen as an imperative by environmentalists to drive the conversion to currently more expensive renewables, are higher costs for everything we consume, hurting the neediest the most.  Energy costs are a fundamental contributor to the cost of just about everything.  Higher energy costs drive inflation, which intern drive higher interest rates, which slow investment, which subsequently slow the economy, ultimately resulting in recession or worse given the debt load carried by the Federal and Territory governments.  Things can get much worse than they are today and surprisingly quickly. 

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Posted : June 22, 2021 4:23 am
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

@alana33 I lived 1/2 a mile away for many years. Never had a problem. 

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Posted : June 22, 2021 7:26 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

@jaldeborgh 

So that's a "NO" when it comes to living next door to refinery?

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Posted : June 22, 2021 7:57 am
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