Limetree Bay CEO to step down, Husky's Rinker will replace

Oct 30 (Reuters) - Limetree Bay Ventures’ Chief Executive Brian Lever will step down in November, Limetree said on Friday, as the company continues to try to fully restart its St. Croix, Virgin Islands-based refinery.

Lever will be replaced by former BP and Husky Energy Inc executive Jeffrey Rinker, who will lead the company’s combined refinery and terminal organizations. Lever will remain with Limetree through the end of November.

The Limetree Bay refinery was expected to be fully operational by the end of 2019 after being idled for several years, but the restart encountered a series of operational delays and adverse market conditions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this year private equity group EIG took majority control of Limetree Bay Ventures, the parent of the refinery and nearby oil terminal.

“As we approached completion of the restart project, Brian and the Board agreed that it was a natural time to transition leadership to a long-term CEO,” R. Blair Thomas, Limetree’s board chairman and CEO of EIG, said in a statement.

Rinker had been executive vice president of downstream and midstream at Husky Energy since earlier this year, according to his company biography. Cenovus announced its intent to acquire Husky Energy earlier this week.

Rinker previously worked at Austrian integrated oil company OMV and spent 16 years at BP in a variety of managerial and downstream roles.

Limetree owners EIG Global Energy Partners and Arclight Capital Partners embarked on the Limetree Bay refinery overhaul in expectation of a surge in demand for marine fuels that comply with new maritime rules for low sulfur content.

The company initially hoped to tap rising demand for low-sulfur fuels and markets in Latin American and Caribbean. (Reporting by Laura Sanicola; Editing by Tom Brown)