ArcLight’s LB Terminals gets new turnaround team

Former Hess exec Darius Sweet will lead the new team as it seeks to re-open an oil storage facility in the Virgin Islands.

Limetree Bay Terminals, a company in which Boston-based ArcLight Capital Partners owns 80 percent, has appointed Darius Sweet as its new chief executive.

Sweet brings more than 30 years of experience in refining, supply, trading and logistics, having most recently served as executive vice president and president of refining and supply at Axeon Specialty Products. Before that, he spent 25 years at Hess Corporation in roles including senior vice president of refining, terminals and supply.

Sweet is joining a new leadership team at LB Terminals which includes vice president of operations Sloan Schoyer, also a long-time employee of Hess, and vice president of commercial Keith Neal, who most recently worked for Buckeye Partners.

The announcement regarding a new team comes just two months since ArcLight and its partner Freepoint Commodities, which owns the remaining 20 percent in LB Terminals, acquired a refinery complex located at Limetree Bay in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. The seller was Hovensa, a joint venture between Hess and Venezuela's state oil company, PDVSA.

Hovensa had declared bankruptcy last September, when the Virgin Islands government sued the company for shutting down the complex in 2012, 10 years before its contract with the government had expired.

According to a 7 January statement issued by ArcLight announcing the acquisition of the Hovensa facility, “LB Terminals negotiated a new operating agreement with a team representing the Honorable Kenneth E. Mapp, Governor of the Virgin Islands. The operating agreement authorises LB Terminals to own, restart and operate the St. Croix Facility.”

ArcLight and Freepoint expect to bring some of the facility’s storage tanks back into service by April.

The St. Croix (also referred to as Hovensa) facility consists of approximately 32 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum product storage, idled refinery units with total peak processing capacity of 650,000 barrels/day, a deepwater port with nine ship docks and other equipment and inventory.

ArcLight has said it intends to make significant investments, although it hasn't provided specific figures, to revitalise the St. Croix facility as an environmentally compliant, multi-purpose energy centre. LB Terminals has already executed a 10-year lease agreement for 10 million barrels of storage capacity with China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), as well as lease agreements with Freepoint covering an additional three million barrels of capacity.

Neither ArcLight nor Freepoint have made clear when they acquired or formed LB Terminals. According to ArcLight’s website, the Boston firm, which focuses exclusively on energy infrastructure, first invested in LB Terminals in 2016. However, reports dating as far back as 2014 refer to LB Terminals as an ArcLight subsidiary. The firm did not respond to a request for comment.