CHRISTIANSTED — Port Hamilton Refining and Transportation (PHRT), the owner of the recently idled refinery on St. Croix, reiterates its commitment to the safe and environmentally sound restarting of the refinery at 180-thousand barrels per day amidst the current tight supply environment, particularly in the United States and the Caribbean.
“The reality is that the demand for refined petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel is exceeding the industry’s current capability to supply this demand. This shortness of supply in the market has contributed to price increases that are straining the finances of many hard-working people. Our objective is to restart the refinery on St. Croix in a safe and environmentally sound manner which we hope will help to alleviate this tight supply situation”, said one of PHRT’s chief principals, Charles Chambers.
In response to queries about the status of plans to restart the refinery,
“PHRT has a really unique opportunity to quickly bring new supply to the market with refinery production that is both inside the United States and the Caribbean,” Chambers said. “As a result, we are assiduously pushing within the international investment community towards ensuring that the PHRT Refinery is restarted in the shortest possible time.”
PHRT is working toward the restart of the refinery by the second quarter of next year and has a goal that the vast majority of the full-time employees at the refinery will be United States Virgin Islands residents. PHRT is on schedule to create many full-time jobs on St. Croix to support the operation and management of the refinery. It is anticipated that phase one hiring will commence in the fall of this year.
Chambers says conversations continue to be had with local and federal regulators and a host of other critical constituents to ensure the safe, environmentally friendly and quick restart of the refinery.
For nearly 50 years the refinery produced 650,000 barrels per day and was a critical asset in the US and Caribbean fuel supply chain. Those years were a boon for the economy of the U.S. Virgin Islands which can be realized in the future with the restarting of the refinery.