Yo ho ho and a bottle of Captain Morgan rum.

London-based alcoholic beverage company Diageo, which produces the Captain Morgan brand, received the go-ahead from the Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority to construct a $165 million rum distillery and distribution center on St. Croix.

When completed in the fall of 2010, the distillery could produce up to 20 million gallons of rum each year and net the destination close to $100 million a year in revenue, according to figures released by Gov. John deJongh's financial advisors.

The deal was announced by the governor last summer but Diageo only recently got the green light from the government to proceed with financing.

Two possible sites have been located. Groundbreaking is scheduled for next spring, and the distillery should be pouring its first samples in the fall of 2010, according to Rib Irby, Diageo's director of strategic programming.

The Virgin Islands, once a major rum producer, now only has Cruzan VIRIL, producer St. Croix's Cruzan Rum.


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