September 12, 2017 / 3:07 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 2-Buckeye targets normal operations at Bahamas oil terminal on Tuesday

(Adds previous ownership, location advantage; changes date to HOUSTON, previous NEW YORK)

HOUSTON, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Buckeye Partners LP said it aims to resume normal operations of its Bahamas crude oil and fuel terminal on Tuesday after Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record, rampaged through the Caribbean.

The Buckeye Bahamas Hub terminal, previously known as BORCO, located in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, has no reported injuries, incidents or damage and restart activities began on Monday afternoon, the company said.

Power is still out at the Grand Bahama Island, a Buckeye spokesman said in an emailed statement.

The terminal is Buckeye’s largest and has the capacity to store about 26.2 million barrels of oil, fuel oil, gasoline and other products. It is also the largest fuel storage terminal in the western hemisphere, the Buckeye Global Marine Partners website said.

In 2011, Buckeye paid about $1.7 billion to buy the Bahamas Oil Refining Company International Limited (BORCO) facility and invested hundreds of millions more to expand the capacity.

Buckeye was forced to shut the terminal due to Irma on Sept. 7, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters last week.

The terminal is conveniently situated for global crude and products flows and is located in a Free Trade Zone area, allowing imports to be exempted from customs duties.

Irma has killed nearly 40 people in the Caribbean and at least six in Florida and Georgia and hammered energy infrastructure in those regions, even as recovery operations from storm Harvey were under way. It will likely dissipate from Tuesday evening, the National Hurricane Center said.

Buckeye’s terminals in Puerto Rico have returned to normal, a spokesman told Reuters in an email. The U.S.-based midstream company had closed the 4.6 million-barrel Yabucoa oil terminal in Puerto Rico last week.

The company also said it aims to return some Florida terminals and pipelines to limited service on back-up power in 12 to 48 hours. All employees at Tampa and in the Miami area are safe and accounted for, Buckeye said.

Nustar Energy LP said on Monday it had put damage assessments of its terminal on the Caribbean island of St. Eustatius on hold as it prepared for Hurricane Jose. Several tanks and other equipment at the 13.03 million-barrel crude and product storage terminal was damaged by Irma last week.

The National Hurricane Center was monitoring Hurricane Jose, which was spinning in the Atlantic about 700 miles (1,130 km) west of Florida. (Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in New York; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Diane Craft)

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