Monday, Nov 19th

LATEST:
You are here: Regional News USVI govt. sues refinery operator for $1.5 billion

Best_of_2015_587x57_Results

USVI govt. sues refinery operator for $1.5 billion

hessST CROIX, USVI--A complaint filed in Superior Court in the US Virgin Islands on Monday charged the Hess Corporation with serious violations of the law after the company abandoned operations at one of the largest gas refineries in the western hemisphere nearly a decade before its legal obligations were complete.

The lawsuit is seeking damages of at least US $1.5 billion, a figure that covers at least $150 million per year in benefits to the people of the USVI over the 10-year period from 2012 to 2022 that Hess was obligated under the law to continue operating the refinery. The damages triple under USVI law.

“This not about a business disagreement. It is about Hess breaking the law,” said US Virgin Islands Governor Kenneth Mapp. “The territory of the Virgin Islands expects that the law is followed by every entity that does business here. Hess violated the law and its obligations to the people.”

The Hess oil refinery was established in the mid-1960s as a long-term commercial relationship based on mutual obligations and benefits, involving the construction, maintenance and operation of a large, world-class refinery on St. Croix, the largest of the four main islands in the US territory.

The agreement, which included significant tax benefits for Hess, was enacted by the USVI legislature. The agreement was renewed most recently in 1998 with a legal obligation through 2022. Without any advance warning, Hess Corporation CEO John Hess notified the government in January 2012 that the company would shut down the refinery within a month, violating the law that dictated operations through 2022.

As a result of the shutdown of operations at the plant, thousands of jobs were lost as well as income and other benefits for the Government and people of the USVI. The refinery provided more than a quarter of the private income on the island of St. Croix. In addition to the economic hardship, there were significant environmental consequences related to the plant shutdown, for which Hess was fined $40 million. Those fines have not yet been paid.

The USVI government, during the past three years, has tried to reach accommodations with Hess, including the sale of the refinery. As recently as 2013, Hess was given additional concessions to allow it time to sell the refinery, but failed to honour its commitments it made even then.

“This is about one thing: Hess breaking the law and the resulting hardship to the territory of the Virgin Islands,” added Mapp. “There are consequences to breaking the law and Hess must fulfil its legal obligations to the territory.”

The suit charges Hess with violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and various other laws. ~ Curaçao Chronicle ~

Image
St. Maarten midday Weather Forecast for Saturday
Saturday, 17 October 2015
DATE ISSUED: Saturday, October 17, 2015 @ 12:00 LST (16:00 UTC) VALID UNTIL: Sunday midday (12:00... Read more...
Image
SHTA poll: Businesses want anti-ship-jumping legislation
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Click here for SHTA graph pdf PHILIPSBURG--The St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association... Read more...
Image
Dominica’s tourism sector ready to welcome visitors after TS Erika
Friday, 16 October 2015
ROSEAU, Dominica--“Dominica is open for business and ready to welcome visitors to its shores.”... Read more...
Image
Reparations Committee: Withdraw Queens’ names from Suriname’s highest mountains
Thursday, 15 October 2015
PARAMARIBO--Suriname’s National Reparations Committee NRCS has filed a request with President... Read more...
Image
Ex-US House Speaker Hastert to plead guilty in hush-money case
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHICAGO--Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is expected to plead guilty in a hush-money case... Read more...
Image
Hillary Clinton to 'look hard' at Julian Castro as possible VP pick
Friday, 16 October 2015
WASHINGTON--Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton won the backing of Housing and Urban... Read more...
Image
Half a million Yemen children face severe malnutrition
Friday, 16 October 2015
GENEVA--More than half a million children in Yemen face life-threatening malnutrition as a risk of... Read more...
Image
Modi to open 70-year-old files in challenge to Gandhi dynasty
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW DELHI--Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will seek to unravel one of India's most enduring... Read more...
Image
Cuba in cash crunch due to low commodity prices, Venezuela woes
Friday, 16 October 2015
HAVANA--Low commodity prices, a drought at home and Venezuela's economic crisis have created a cash... Read more...
Image
Apple's newest courtroom foe is patent-savvy university
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW YORK--As a veteran of the global smart phone wars, Apple is used to courtroom battles with... Read more...
Image
Focus needs to be on fighting crime & helping unemployed
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Editor, With all of the political situation on the island, we can't lose focus on some of the... Read more...
Image
Had enough
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Queenie, My brother died years ago but his widow stayed close to our family. Eventually she... Read more...
Image
RBC St. Maarten Little League School Tournament
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Sister Marie Laurence defeated Leonald Conner in the RBC St. Maarten Little League School... Read more...
Image
Nadal trounces Wawrinka, Djokovic tames Tomic
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHINA-- Former world number one Rafa Nadal displayed more signs of a return to top form with a... Read more...
Image
Junk shop photo spurs quest to confirm Billy the Kid image
Friday, 16 October 2015
DENVER--For the $2 he spent to buy three old photographs, Randy Guijarro may have hit the mother... Read more...
Image
Few signs of improvement for NBA star Odom after collapse
Friday, 16 October 2015
LAS VEGAS--Pro basketball and reality TV star Lamar Odom spent a third day hospitalized on... Read more...
Image
Bruney cruises into retirement
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ After three decade in cruise industry ~   By Alita Singh   Frank Bruney has seen tiny... Read more...
Image
ALL HANDS ON DECK, WE MADE IT!
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ Fair Transport Sailing Vessel Nordlys is launched ~   St. Maarten has been graced by the... Read more...
Editorial - Anybody’s guess
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Governor Eugene Holiday has decided to seek legal clarity on the current constitutional impasse.... Read more...
Editorial - Time is up
Friday, 16 October 2015
With so much ongoing constitutional turmoil, the fact that more than 100 people attended the... Read more...
Image
Saturday Oct. 17, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Image
Friday Oct. 16, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Notices October 16
Friday, 16 October 2015
General Meeting St. Maarten Professional Softball Association (SMPSA) general meeting for the... Read more...
Notices October 15
Thursday, 15 October 2015
General Meeting S.M.P.S.A. general meeting for the softball season 2016 will be held at Sundial... Read more...