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Hovensa refinery in USVI dismisses 270 workers
Monday June 29, 2009, 11:56 am EDT

Hovensa oil refinery in US Virgin Islands dismisses 270 contract workers

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) -- The Hovensa oil refinery has dismissed 270 contract workers in response to the global economic downturn, a company spokesman said Monday.

The layoffs at the U.S. Virgin Islands' largest private employer were driven by a net operating loss of $81 million in the first quarter, according to Hovensa LLC spokesman Alex Moorhead.

The refinery on St. Croix is one of the 10 largest in the world and has a crude-oil processing capacity of 500,000 barrels per day. It is left with about 1,000 contract workers, who generally provide maintenance services, as well as 1,400 employees on the Hovensa payroll, Moorhead said.

Moorhead said contractors implemented the layoffs Friday but the company hopes to bring back many of the dismissed workers later this year.

Hovensa is owned by New York-based Hess Corp. and Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the national oil company of Venezuela.

Source: Associated Press

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