Officials in the U.S. Virgin Islands are gearing up to welcome production of Captain Morgan rum to the territory as plans for financing a distillery project moved forward last week.

The Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority Thursday approved $50 million of short-term notes as spirits maker Diageo will begin the design phase of a new rum distillery on St. Croix. Diageo filed permits for the project last week and once the 60-day permitting process is complete, the authority will look to issue $250 million of long-term tax-exempt bonds backed by future rum receipts to help support the project. The VIPFA approved the borrowing plan in 2008 after it received legislative approval.

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