Honolulu Airport Inks Deal to Use Biodiesel

Recycled vegetable oil will supply between 250,000 and 1 million gallons of biodiesel per year.

January 4, 2013
REW Staff

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has approved a contract for Pacific Biodiesel Technologies, based in Maui, Hawaii, to supply biodiesel to Hawaiian Electric Co. for the Honolulu International Airport emergency power facility.

Under the three-year agreement, Pacific Biodiesel will annually supply between 250,000 and 1 million gallons of biodiesel produced locally from Hawaii-sourced feedstock.

The airport emergency power facility will be the second wholly biofuel-powered utility-scale generation plant operated by Hawaiian Electric Co. The first, Campbell Industrial Park Generation Station, is fueled by biodiesel processed from waste animal fat that is imported from the Midwest.

In a news release, Pacific Biodiesel says that as production ramps up at its new 5.5 million gallon-per-year plant, the company will process its most degraded recycled vegetable oil feedstock into high-quality biodiesel.

“Pacific Biodiesel is excited to provide the nation’s best quality biodiesel for this new back-up generation facility and all other customers,” says Bob King, president of Pacific Biodiesel. “Every contract helps to assure more renewable fuel in Hawaii, supports the success of the biofuel industry and has helped us grow our local company to over 50 employees on three islands.”

“Hawaiian Electric welcomes approval of this contract, one of several we have signed for locally produced and processed biofuel,” says Robbie Alm, Hawaiian Electric Co. executive vice president. “Pacific Biodiesel is a well-established, leading company in our community that has been supplying biodiesel for diesel engines for over 15 years.

Work on the $20 million generation facility began late in 2012 and it is due to come online later in 2013. The new facility will use four diesel generators to provide up to 10 megawatts of electrical power.

Under an agreement already approved by the Public Utilities Commission between Hawaiian Electric Co. and State of Hawaii Department of Transportation, Airports Division, the utility will be able to use electricity from the facility for up to 1,500 hours per year to supply the Oahu grid.