BlueEarth Biofuels LLC, based in Texas and Arizona, is planning to have a new 40 million gallon-a-year biodiesel plant operating on Maui by 2009, with annual capacity increasing to 120 million gallons by 2011. The Maui Electric Company (MEC) will be an owner-partner of the plant, the first phase of which will likely cost $61 million, not counting land costs.
Hawaii currently imports huge amounts of the energy/fuel it needs, and to start off production BlueEarth will continue the trend, making biodiesel from imported palm oil. There is a chance that the facility might "one day run on Hawaii-grown feed stock such as local palm oil, jatropha, kukui nut, coconut or other oil rich crops," but let's not start holding our breath quite yet, K?
The biodiesel made at the new plant will go to the Ma'alaea Power Plant, run by MEC to start it down the path of generating all its electricity without using fossil fuels," said. Ed Reinhardt, MEC president. All of MEC's profits from this biodiesel project will go into a Hawaii Biofuels Public Trust to further local bio-energy infrastructure.
[Source: Renewable Energy Access]