Last Work Day at Limetree as Refinery Closes Gates, Lays off More than 200

Rusty chain link fences and locked gates to empty parking lots were left Friday as the refinery drew to a close. (Source photo by Linda Morland)
Vehicles driving away from Limetree Friday might contain the last of the employees to leave work as the shut down finalizes. (Source photo by Linda Morland)

Limetree Bay Refining on Friday laid off more than 200 employees, three months after the company had announced it would suspend its plans to restart the refinery, resulting in a workforce reduction, the company said in a news release.

“It is a sad day today as we say goodbye to the dedicated men and women who worked so hard to restart the refinery,” said Jeff Rinker, Limetree Bay’s CEO. “Restarting the refinery after being idled for almost a decade was a tremendous challenge that this team approached with professionalism and energy. While the outcome was not as we had hoped or intended, I remain deeply grateful for their efforts, and we remain hopeful that the refinery will restart at some future date under new ownership.”

The company is in bankruptcy court seeking a buyer for the facility as it works with advisors to review potential strategic alternatives for the refinery.

A small number of employees and contractor personnel will remain at the refinery to continue preparing the site for the extended shutdown, which includes safely purging gases and removing any residual oil and products from the pipes and equipment. In addition, several other refinery workers have been able to secure employment at the neighboring Limetree Bay Terminal, the news release said.

The refinery, as seen from a residential community, has impacted the island in many ways over the years. (Source photo by Linda Morland)
With the refinery in the background, vehicles drive past empty parking lots that once were full of cars belonging to the workers. (Source photo by Linda Morland)
Only a couple of trucks can be seen at a distance in the deserted modular housing. (Source photo by Linda Morland)
Boarded-up modular units comprising the “man camp” have been left to bake in the sun. (Source photo by Linda Morland)
Once-full parking lots and boarded-up buildings are left behind for possible buyers. (Source photo by Linda Morland)
On Friday afternoon there was not a sign of movement by people or vehicles behind the closed gates and rusted stacks.. (Source photo by Linda Morland)
Limetree Bay Refinery’s last working day presented empty streets, parking lots and boarded-up buildings. The administration buildings will continue to be used by Limetree Bay Terminals. (Source photo by Linda Morland)