Home > Caribbean > Aruba
ESSO Refinery & Lago Colony
In July of each year since 1961, plates are revalidated by a metal plate in reversed colors from the base plate. It bears the serial (top), the letter "A" for private vehicles (center) and the year (bottom).
1931 - 1960's
A Private/Passenger AG Automobile Agency B Bus BR Dealer D Official DT Diesel Truck (Since 1978) GAR Repair/Garage H Hire/Taxi (1950's only, replaced by "TX") MFA Private Motorcycle MFD Official Motorcycle MFV Rental Motorcycle O Bus allowed to pick up passengers anywhere
Used with "B", "DT", "T" plates
T Tourist Vehicle TR Truck TX Taxi V Rental Car
Lago Colony was a community on the eastern end of Aruba in an area now called Seroe Colorado. The colony served, for the most part, as a company town for Lago Oil & Transport Company, Ltd., which owned and operated a refinery on the island.
Lago Oil was a subsidiary of Standard Oil Company (New Jersey), later known as Exxon Corporation.
At its peak, Lago Colony included about 700 homes for employees and their families and included a school, a hospital, a church, and a variety of social and recreational opportunities. Residents of the colony were mostly Americans but other nationalities were also represented.
The refinery, which began operating in 1924 as a trans-shipping facility for crude oil from Lake Maracaibo (Venezuela), was at one time the largest refinery complex in the world. The facility remained in operation until 1985 when Exxon moved to shut down and dismantle the refinery and Lago Colony. Parts of the facility were sold to the Aruban government and later to Coastal Petroleum. Though a much smaller operation today, Valero Energy Corporation now operates the refinery.
An undated license plate was issued to vehicles that did not go outside the concession.
Source: Briscoe Center for American History
Location Caribbean Capital Oranjestad Main Religion Christianity Main Languages Dutch, Papiamento Political Status Autonomous state within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Full autonomy in internal affairs. The government of the Netherlands is responsible for defense and foreign affairs. History Dutch since 1634 International Oval (none) ISO Code AW
(1) Jim Fox/Picture by Greg Gibson
(2) Picture by Mark O'Neil
(3) Picture by Michiel van der Veur
(4) Picture by Ephraim Martina