St. Croix Energy has won the bankruptcy auction for Limetree Bay refinery with a bid totaling $29 million, and the group of unnamed investors intends to pursue “a safe and environmentally conscious restart,” a company spokesman said Thursday.

In response to questions from The Daily News, Communications and Public Relations Director Ashley Scotland said in addition to $20 million cash, St Croix Energy will cover professional fees of the debtor through a transitional services agreement which will have the debtors operate the refinery on behalf of SCE. The total value is estimated at $9 million.

“Emerging as the top bidder for the LBR asset is a good thing, however SCE continues to remain focused and steadfast on accomplishing the other milestones necessary for our company and the U.S. Virgin Islands community to see a safe and environmentally conscious restart of the LBR facility,” according to Scotland.

Government House Communications Director Richard Motta Jr. and Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Cash flow issues have halted hydrocarbon purging and shutdown procedures at the troubled facility, according to a recent joint filing in an ongoing civil case filed by the Justice Department.

The Justice Department filed the complaint against Limetree on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on July 12, claiming the refinery’s operations have repeatedly violated the Clean Air Act.

The refinery had previously shut down in 2012 after years of economic troubles were compounded by violations of the Clean Air Act. The brief but disastrous restart in February resulted in several environmental contamination incidents that left at least 1,200 nearby homes coated in oil particles and the layoff of hundreds of refinery employees and contractors.

According to Thursday’s prepared statement from St. Croix Energy, the company “remains committed to working with the local and statutory environmental regulatory bodies, including the Department of Planning and Natural Resources (DPNR) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in creating a restart plan that will address safety and environmental concerns, while our company the opportunity to operate and provide economic growth opportunities for all Virgin Islanders.”

The company will also have “more and new engagement with the local community in the coming weeks, as we begin to roll out our senior leadership team and expound on our new business plan for the facility. This team of experienced industry, business and environmental professionals will shepherd the Refinery through the transitional and restart phases, back to a fully safe, operational facility,” according to Scotland.

The company’s owners have not identified themselves publicly, and Scotland did not respond to a request for a list of principals Thursday.

On Tuesday, the EPA updated air monitoring information on its website to reflect data being collected by air monitors operated by Limetree Bay.

EPA spokesman John Senn said in an email that Limetree Bay’s five new air monitors have been operating alongside EPA air monitors since Oct. 25, and “EPA has confirmed that the monitors being operated by Limetree Bay are producing results consistent with EPA’s monitors.”

The full update is available at epa.gov/vi/monitoring-air-near-limetree-bay.

- Contact Suzanne Carlson at 340-714-9122 or email scarlson@dailynews.vi.