© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Installations of the Limetree Bay petroleum refinery are seen in St Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands June 28, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez
By Laura Sanicola
(Reuters) -St. Croix Energy LLLP is bidding $20 million to acquire the shuttered Limetree Bay refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to a Sunday court filing in a Texas bankruptcy court.
The Limetree Bay refinery, which had been shut for nearly a decade, reopened earlier this year under the ownership of two private equity firms after investors poured $4.1 billion into reviving the facility.
The refiner wanted to restart the facility to produce 210,000 barrels a day of gasoline and other fuels. Its planned restart was delayed for more than a year, and it operated for only a few months before U.S. regulators shut it down after its stacks spewed oil on homes and contaminated drinking water.
A “stalking horse” bid is used as a starting bid or minimally accepted offer that other interested bidders must surpass if they want to buy the company.
St. Croix has been named the stalking horse bidder for the facility and is currently the only qualified bidder for the plant, according to the filing. The auction is set for Monday.
St. Croix, which described itself as “a group of businessmen with deep roots in the Virgin Islands,” said in an October news release that it is committed to restarting the refinery safely.
The company consists of industry professionals with decades of experience in the refining, marketing and renewable fuel sectors, the release said.
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