Video by David Corrigan
A modest gathering of officials and investors in the future Big Island Biodiesel plant helped break ground on the project at Shipman Industrial Park in Keaau on Thursday.
Kimo Pihana and Koa Rice conducted the Hawaiian ritual. The o’o ceremony included Mayor Billy Kenoi and the two new faces on the county council, Brittany Smart and Fred Blas. Kenoi said the biodiesel plant will help the county reach a bold, new goal: 100% renewable energy use at some point in the near future.
The site of the biodiesel plant was blessed in January.
Before the groundbreaking, Big Island Biodiesel issued this media release:
Big Island Biodiesel Breaks Ground for New Plant
Advanced Biofuel Technology project moves the Big Island into the renewable energy forefront
On Thursday, November 18, Big Island Biodiesel LLC (BIB) will kick-off its construction phase with a blessing at the Kea`au site of Hawaii’s newest and most advanced biodiesel production facility. The project is the brainchild of Robert King, President of Pacific Biodiesel, Inc., which currently produces biodiesel on Maui and Oahu. This project’s fund raising efforts won Pacific Biodiesel the 2009 Deal of the Year Award by the Hawaii Venture Capital
With a capacity of over 8,000 gallons per day and more than 2.6 million gallons per year, the Big Island Biodiesel facility will utilize recently developed zero-waste, super efficient processing technology and will play a significant role in helping Hawaii reach its energy independence and sustainability goals. Following the community-based biodiesel production model pioneered by Pacific Biodiesel in 1996, BIB even boasts ownership by members of the community.
“Our equity partners include residents and businesses from across the State of Hawaii, and even includes the State of Hawaii,” explained King. “This facility will be a state-of-the-art, next generation biofuel refinery and should be producing just in time for the 2011 international APEC Summit.”
In addition to used cooking oil and trap grease feedstock, Hawaii’s newest biodiesel processing facility will support local farmers interested in growing biofuel crops. The new biodiesel plant’s multiple feedstock capability will allow it to process used cooking oils, jatropha oil, sunflower oil, algae oil and even fish oil and animal fats.
“We began with the land blessing in January,” explained cultural practitioners Koa Rice and Kimo Pihana, “when we honored our ancestors and asked for permission to use the land.”
Thursday’s ceremony is a continuation of the process when we will ask for a smooth construction phase with a safe and harmonious work site.
Biodiesel is currently produced by Pacific Biodiesel on Maui and Oahu and is sold at retail stations on those islands as well as wholesale throughout the state. Pacific Biodiesel’s cleaner, safer, high-quality ASTM rated biodiesel is processed from vegetable oil and/or animal fats and can be used in any diesel engine.
Community-based biodiesel production supports local agriculture, energy security and a cleaner environment.
Raw video, courtesy Big Island Video News on YouTube