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PUBLIC NOTICE: Limetree Bay Terminals Applies To U.S. Army Corps of Engineers To Expand Its Marine Operations In St. Croix

CHRISTIANSTED — Limetree Bay Terminals LLC has applied to the federal government to grant them permission to expand their St. Croix marine operations, the Virgin Islands Free Press has learned.

According to a public notice issued on Nov. 8 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (CoE), Limetree Bay wants approval to build an off-shore mooring buoy capable of servicing some of the oil industry’s largest tankers and a pipeline to connect it to the terminal facility on shore.

The application for expansion, which comes as part of an agreement between ArcLight Partners and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., also called Sinopec, represents another step by Limetree Bay to fulfill its the terms of its contract with the territory signed in 2015.

Part of the landmark deal saw the firm agreeing to $125 million in capital spending which, among other obligations, includes the build out of its marine facility to accommodate VLBFCs.

The application was filed with USACE during President Donald Trump’s visit to China, where one of the president’s biggest multi-billion dollar deals was an energy investment with Sinopec to bring thousands of new jobs to hurricane-ravaged areas in the Virgin Islands and Texas..

During a recent press briefing, Gov. Kenneth Mapp referenced the deal, which is non-binding, and said that it would have a major effect on the territory’s economy, once it is realized.

The Limetree Bay USACE application, filed on November 8, is a sign that ArcLight Partners and Sinopec were ready to make a major move forward that would bring higher-paying jobs to the territory.

In June of 2016, Mapp, coming back from China where he met with Sinopec officials — told residents that the Virgin Islands was not ready for the amount of jobs that the Sinopec partnership with Limetree Bay would bring.

“I want to be clear to the people of the Virgin Islands that the significant amount of jobs to our economy, the number of jobs to be created, the revenues to be derived by the local government will be significant,” he said then.

Limetree Bay’s application here, “seeks authorization to install a Single Point Mooring (SPM) and an underwater pipeline system for the offshore transfer of bulk fuel from Very Large Bulk Carriers to the existing facilities at the Limetree Bay Marine Terminal,” according to the description.

“The project would include the placement of two concrete coated 30 inches in diameter parallel pipelines from the end of the eastern jetty of the Limetree Bay Terminal to a Pipeline End Manifold (PLEM) to be located offshore at a water depth of approximately 150 feet below mean sea level. The system would then transition into three 24 inches in diameter hoses which would be suspended mid water at a depth of 150 feet to 250 feet to the Buoy Balance Position for the SPM,” the description adds.

The Nov. 8 application seeks approval to expand the Limetree Bay marine terminal for very large bulk fuel carriers accommodation, Sinopec, the governor said, would eventually seek the accommodation of ultra large bulk fuel carriers at the Limetree Bay marine facility capable of holding two million barrels of oil.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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