Don Bryan, who plans his own $62 million veneer manufacturing plant at Ookala, testifies for Pepeekeo biomass
Video by David Corrigan
Don Bryan, president of Tradewinds Forest Products, made public his support of the Hu Honua BioEnergy LLC project, planned for the old Pepeekeo power plant, during testimony given at the recent Windward Planning Commission meeting.
Tradewinds Forest Products is constructing a $62 million veneer manufacturing plant at Ookala on the Hamakua Coast. The company plans to use loggers to harvest eucalyptus logs into “high-value visual grade, strength grade and commodity grade veneer using an environmentally sustainable process.”
A recent company press release says that phase two of construction entails building a small cogeneration biomass power plant that will burn mill residuals and provide steam for running the dryers to finish the veneer products.
Tradewinds Forest Products has a purchase power agreement in hand from HELCO as well as a Clear Air Permit issued by the State of Hawaii Department of Health. It has already gone through many of the same regulatory steps that Hu Honua must now go through. The Ookala project has also faced a similar degree of pushback from area residents that the planned Pepeekeo project now faces.
Many companies have been competing for an opportunity to convert the lush Hamakua Coast’s greenery into energy. However, both Hu Honua and Tradewinds see a synergy in their operations, and an opportunity to work well together.