The distillery’s conception was marked in June 2008 when Governor John P. deJongh, Jr. and Diageo USVI jointly announced a public-private initiative for the construction and operation of a high capacity rum distillery on the island of St. Croix. This 30-year commitment provides a major economic stimulus for the entire Territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Once in operation the distillery will have the capacity to distill up to 20 million proof gallons of rum per year and is expected to generate an estimated $130 million in new tax revenue for the Virgin Islands Government, this in addition to the $139 million that the construction has already brought to the community. Diageo USVI has committed that at least 80 percent of the full-time employees at the distillery will be from the USVI, and the company has created more than 60 full-time jobs to support the operation and management of the distillery.
Construction of the distillery began in August 2009, and was completed on time and on budget. Beginning in 2012, the distillery will supply rum used to make Captain Morgan products for the United States. Captain Morgan is a global leader among premium spirits and is number two in the rum category worldwide.
The distillery was constructed with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification principles. Some of the 21st century ecological and environmental controls incorporated in the design include a closed-loop water system that will eliminate the need for any washwater disposal into the nearby Caribbean Sea. The design also incorporates organic solids reclamation and storm water best management practices.
The short video below shows footage from the grand opening ceremony in November.