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KEAAU, Hawaii: Monday was an important day for renewable energy on Hawaii Island, as the Big Island Biodiesel plant opened at the Shipman Business Park in Keaau.
A number of local dignitaires attended the event – which was blessed with on again – off again rain.
Bob King of Pacific Biodiesel, who conceptualized the Big Island plant as a way to bring advanced biodiesel process technology to the State of Hawaii, led the first VIP tour around the facility, showing off what the company says is the most efficient, state-of-the-art, zerowaste technology developed to date.
The company says the construction and installation of all buildings, tanks and non-proprietary technical equipment brought 85 jobs to the community. A job fair for staffing the plant was held on-site in March of this year and attracted 150 applicants. Hiring for permanent plant jobs began in May.
Pacific Biodiesel Logistics will collect local feedstock in the form of used cooking oil and grease trap waste from restaurants, hotels and other food service facilities throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Oil from a jatropha farm in the Keaau area will also be used. The new plant will be able to handle it all… 16,000 gallons per day, that’s 5.5 million gallons per year – and the plant is designed for expansion.
Big Island Biodiesel is Pacific Biodiesel’s thirteenth production plant and its most technologically advanced facility.
Pacific Biodiesel Technologies presents Big Island Biodiesel
Another step toward energy independence was celebrated July 2, 2012 at the grand opening of Big Island Biodiesel, the latest project of Pacific Biodiesel Technologies, LLC. Big Island Biodiesel, LLC is Hawaii’s newest and most advanced biodiesel production facility and the first biofuel refinery to be built since 2000 when Pacific Biodiesel constructed its Sand Island refinery on Oahu. The project was the brainchild of Robert King, President of Pacific Biodiesel Technologies.
Big Island Biodiesel hosted some of Hawaii’s most influential dignitaries as well as speakers from the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The Independence Day themed event and barbeque were held at the Keaau site and included remarks from United States Senator Daniel K. Inouye and Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie. “Let’s not blink this time,” said Senator Inouye, referring to the early development of renewable energy prompted by the oil crisis in the 1970’s, which died when petroleum prices dropped. Governor Abercrombie praised the local investment in the project, saying, “this is a commitment to renewable, this is a commitment to alternative, this is a commitment to energy itself and its role as a central feature of whether we can survive as a democracy in these Hawaiian Islands.”
State Representative Denny Coffman, and Senators Mike Gabbard and Gilbert Kahele presented Bob and Kelly King, founders of Pacific Biodiesel, with a framed certificate from the 26th State Legislature honoring Big Island Biodiesel for its mission and green jobs creation. Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi presented BIB with a giclee photograph of the island volcano peaks.
Speeches were followed by a traditional Hawaiian Blessing by Kahu Kimo Pihana, who also officiated at the land blessing of Big Island Biodiesel in January of 2010 and the groundbreaking event later that year.
President of Pacific Biodiesel Technologies, Bob King, and Engineering Manager Will Smith hosted tours of the refinery throughout the event. Paradise Helicopters provided aerial tours of the plant and nearby jatropha biofuel crop farm operated by Hilo resident James Twigg-Smith, while Keoki Kahumoku serenaded guests at the Energy Independence Day barbeque.
With this opening, the State’s biodiesel production capacity increases 500%, to 5.5 million gallons per year. Pacific Biodiesel’s cleaner, safer, highest-quality biodiesel is processed from used cooking or trap grease oil, virgin vegetable oil and/or animal fats, and can be used in any unmodified diesel engine.
Community-based biodiesel production supports local agriculture, energy security, a cleaner environment, and economic development throughout the State of Hawaii.
SOURCE: Pacific Biodiesel