On Aug. 6, Governor John P. deJongh issued a special address regarding the current negotiation effort between the VI Government and HOVENSA.
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The address was a televised statement that was also issued via various local radio networks/stations. However, Governor deJongh’s address may have created more fear in the community rather than relief.
The news of this breakdown in negotiation regarding HOVENSA’s proposal for a revised agreement, does not allay the public fears about the upcoming lack of fuel oil for the Water and Power Authority (WAPA).
The Governor in his speech stated that the Government has flatly rejected HOVENSA’s proposal to convert its facility to a storage terminal because it “…reaps few benefits for the territory while reducing HOVENSA’s contractual obligations and granting the company further tax breaks at the expense of [VI] taxpayers.”
Additionally, Governor deJongh informed the public of the counterproposals based on the demand that HOVENSA restore its operations as a refinery. In support of the Government’s position, deJongh stated that electricity costs could soar to as much as 20 to 25 percent if HOVENSA retains its current position.
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