HOVENSA refuses to say how much gas is left as it sets wholesale price
Published: August 19, 2013
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ST. CROIX - Despite its plan to shut down the truck rack where it sells wholesale gasoline - and its dispute with the V.I. government over contractual obligations - HOVENSA on Friday released its new wholesale gasoline prices for this week, as usual.
According to that information, wholesale gasoline prices in the territory will continue a slow downward trend today, for the fourth week in a row, as HOVENSA adjusts its rack rates.
The changes lowered the rack rates - the price of fuel purchased wholesale at the HOVENSA truck-loading station on St. Croix - for regular gasoline by 4 cents per gallon, for premium gasoline by 7 cents per gallon and for diesel fuel by 2 cents per gallon.
Under today's adjustments, independent gas station operators in the territory now are paying $3.30 per gallon for regular gasoline, $3.57 per gallon for premium gasoline, and $3.50 per gallon for diesel fuel when they buy their fuel wholesale at HOVENSA. Those prices include the 14-cents-per-gallon tax that the refinery collects for the government.
As differences heat up between the government and HOVENSA as they appear to move closer to a court battle, HOVENSA has told Gov. John deJongh Jr. that it will close down the fuel rack when its current supply of gasoline is finished.
The company has since then refused to provide any information to the public about when that might occur, saying that the information is proprietary.
HOVENSA spokesman Alex Moorhead on Friday, responding to a question about whether the release of the new rack rates meant that the racks would remain open throughout the week, sent this emailed response: "HOVENSA has no comment in response to this question."
The rack rates influence retail gasoline prices in the territory because independent gas station operators can buy their gasoline at the loading station, then resell it to their customers. The new rates are effective through Sunday.
On the retail side, average retail gasoline prices in the United States on Thursday were also on a slight downward trend, a little lower than a week ago, according to the American Automobile Association's Daily Fuel Gauge Report.
The average retail gasoline price in the U.S. on Thursday was $3.541 per gallon for regular, $3.878 per gallon for premium, and $3.87 per gallon for diesel fuel, according to AAA.