When he announced Diageo PLC has decided to build a $165 million run factory on St. Croix, Gov. John deJongh called the deal, "The greatest single financial step forward that we have taken in this territory in 50 years.”
It will create a $100 million-a-year industry. “This will bring jobs and a tremendous future stream of revenue, a long-term source of funds that will go far towards solving many of the challenges we face as a Territory,” he added in a statement. The Governor said it will mean millions in rum excise tax revenue to the territory and 40 full-time jobs.
The factory will be complete in 2011, with the VI’s helping to finance construction.
He’s already figuring out how to spend the money. According to the Virgin Islands Daily News, de Jongh said the new rum revenues will help fund the government’s pension system, the costs of building a new school on St. John, and rep;airing local roads.
Diageo produces rum under the Captain Morgan brand, in addition to other adult beverages including Johnnie Walker, Jose Cuervo, and Tanqueray.