PEPEEKEO, Hawaii: Recent activity at the Hū Honua Bioenergy LLC site in Pepeekeo is being detailed in a recent news letter sent out by the company.
Hu Honua is preparing for reconstruction of the planned biomass-to-electricity facility at the site of the old Pepeekeo power plant. The company says it will displace about 250,000 barrels of oil per year. The news letter provided this artist view of what the refurbished plant will look like, below.
Hū Honua reports that it is negotiating with Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company (HDCC) to renovate the facility. The company says HDCC is Hawaii’s oldest and largest full-service construction company. HHB is in negotiations with ESI Inc. of Tennessee for engineering and design services.
“Contract talks are also underway with timber suppliers for the feedstock that will produce electricity,” reports the newsletter. “The biomass facility is expected to be operational 16-18 months from the beginning of signed contracts.”
The news letter also detailed recent grounds keeping efforts at the power plant:
In addition to clearing site grounds of overgrowth, outdated equipment and coal piles from when the facility burned coal have been removed. Water pipes will soon be excavated on the property site and on easements through nearby properties. Besides installing new pipes, HHB will trench and run conduits for power lines. The end result will be a more pleasant visual landscape as some poles and overhead wires will be eliminated.
The old Pepe‘ekeo Sugar Mill office building, which now serves as the Hū Honua headquarters, has been renovated but retains its historic look.
The Timekeeper’s Shack next door has also undergone physical improvements, again keeping the original style, and will serve as a meeting room for HHB.
The newsletter finished with info about Roberta Carriaga-De Motta manages Hu Honua’s office in Pepeekeo and coordinates the company’s community outreach program. The company has made donations to Waiākea High School Boy’s Soccer, and a food basket donation to benefit the Hāmākua Coast Assembly of God. The Pepeekeo church recently encountered a lack of funding and supplies, forcing their campaign to operate on a per case basis. In early March, Hū Honua donated much needed supplies to the Assembly, including basic home products, canned goods and nonperishable food items, helping to ease the demand for essentials by the area’s struggling families. From the newsletter:
“Whether it be shopping for and delivering food and sundries to the local food pantry or helping to expand the agricultural program at the local school,” De Motta says she’s “truly excited to be part of the Hū Honua ‘ohana” and able to serve the community through her work.
Roberta and her husband Wesley De Motta, Hū Honua’s Grounds Manager, reside in Pepe‘eko with their two children.