U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS—Governor Albert Bryan Jr. announced Wednesday that the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has approved the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority’s Substantial Amendment, paving the way for the use of $145 million in Community Development Block Grant mitigation (CDBG-MIT) funds to the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) to acquire the VITOL propane terminals at the Richmond Power Plant in St. Croix and the Randolph Harley Power Plant in St. Thomas.
This landmark development marks a significant milestone in the Administration’s ongoing efforts to enhance the Virgin Islands’ energy infrastructure and improve the delivery of utility services to its residents.
With the acquisition of the LPG assets from VITOL, WAPA will gain greater control of the fuel supply and management of fuel costs.
WAPA CEO Andrew Smith responded to the approval, “I want to thank the Office of the Governor, the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority, and the 35th Legislature for their support in this milestone towards the acquisition of the VITOL propane infrastructure. I would also like to thank our federal partners for their engagement and support. I commend our team for their exceptional dedication and diligent efforts in reaching a significant phase in our strategic plan, bringing the Authority one step closer to financial stability. This acquisition is monumental for the future of energy resilience in the territory. Acquiring the propane supply infrastructure will improve fuel resiliency because it will allow WAPA to maintain access to two fuels, propane and diesel, and double the amount of fuel storage in the territory. As part of WAPA’s mission of protecting our pristine environment, it will also ensure continued availability of WAPA’s most modern, clean, and efficient generation, which operates on propane.”
Control of the propane facilities will enable WAPA to refocus efforts toward executing its strategic priorities and resiliency projects, which include the significant expansion of renewable energy integration into the grid.
Governor Bryan underscored the importance of this achievement, stating, “There is no easy fix to a system that has been broken for 60 years. It takes commitment, diligence, political courage, and, most importantly, working together. I want to again thank the members of the 35th Legislature who supported the legislation approving the line of credit needed to complete this plan and the leadership teams at HUD, VIHFA, and WAPA for their diligent efforts, which helped us achieve this milestone.
This transformational development will position WAPA to deliver more affordable and efficient services to its ratepayers, ultimately benefiting the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The acquisition of the VITOL propane terminals represents a significant step forward in the Administration’s goal to build a more resilient and sustainable energy future for the U.S. Virgin Islands.