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USVI seeks $5M to fund litigation against Hovensa

August 16, 2013

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) — The governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands has called a special legislative session to debate issues including litigation against the owners of a defunct oil refinery.

John de Jongh, Jr. says he is seeking $5 million from the island’s Department of Justice to fund a case against Hovensa. He warned in a statement issued Friday that the process could cost more than $15 million and take more than seven years.

De Jongh said he believes there is no other choice given the economic impact of the refinery’s closure.

Legislators last week rejected a bill that would have governed a possible sale of the refinery, a joint venture of U.S.-based Hess Corp. and Venezuela’s state-owned oil company. It closed in January 2012 following years of weak demand and high operating costs.

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