In a move that it says is necessary to “remain viable in a competitive market,” Limetree Bay Terminals announced it will slash more than a quarter of its workforce just two weeks before Christmas.
“Business activity has decreased following the indefinite closure of the Limetree Bay Refinery,” the oil-storage company that shares the former HOVENSA refinery site on St. Croix, stated in an email to media on Monday.
“Reorganizing Limetree Terminals will allow us to streamline operations and better position us to achieve the company’s business objectives,” said Limetree Bay CEO Jeff Rinker, who also serves as CEO of the refinery. “This will enable us to continue to serve the St. Croix community as a provider of good jobs as well as work for local business partners.”
According to the statement, the reorganization calls for a 28 percent reduction in workforce, which represents about 35 employees. Their last day of employment will be Dec. 12.
About 90 jobs will remain.
“We regret that, in these difficult circumstances following the closure of the refinery, we are no longer able to offer employment to these hard-working individuals” said Rinker. “I am grateful to these employees who have made significant contributions to our terminal operations.”
Workers were informed they were loosing their jobs on Monday, according to the statement.
During the construction phase of the refinery restart project, more than 4,300 individuals worked at the Limetree Bay Site, according to the V.I. Labor Department.
While the Limetree Bay Refining is in bankruptcy following the failed restart of the St. Croix refinery, Limetree Bay Terminals is a separate corporate entity. The storage facility consists of 167 tanks, with a capacity of approximately 34 million barrels, about 1.4 billion gallons, and deep-water access to 11 docks including an offshore single point mooring buoy capable of handling very large crude carriers, tankers about 1,000 feet in length and capable of carrying 2 million barrels of oil.
Bids for the shuttered refinery are due Friday with an auction set for Sept. 22 and the transaction scheduled to be completed by Nov. 1.