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Buyout Agreement Reached Between Vitol and WAPA; Utility Hopes Territorial Line of Credit Will Facilitate Process

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The Water and Power Authority (WAPA) has reached an agreement with energy trading company Vitol regarding the buyout of Vitol’s propane infrastructure. WAPA Executive Director Andrew Smith announced the news during Thursday’s meeting of WAPA’s newly reconfigured governing board, describing the Vitol liability as the single largest liability and monthly operating cost for WAPA.

The execution of the agreement relies on the approval of a $150 million line of credit (LOC) that Governor Albert Bryan Jr. is seeking from the legislature. Smith explained that the LOC would be used to facilitate the payout to Vitol while awaiting incoming federal funds, effectively solving one of the struggling utility company’s most pressing issues.

WAPA is currently seeking federal grant money to help the cash-strapped company meet its obligations under the buyout agreement, the details of which were not disclosed in an open session. The application for federal funding will be sent to the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority for vetting before submission to the relevant federal agencies. Smith hopes that WAPA can use the LOC to move the buyout process forward while awaiting federal funds.

WAPA representatives are set to testify before the Senate next week in support of the governor’s request for the line of credit.

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