Founded on Maui in 1995, Pacific Biodiesel is the nation’s longest operating biodiesel producer, and established the first retail biodiesel pump in America. Today with nearly 100 employees statewide, the company is the only commercial producer of liquid biofuels in Hawaii.
The company has always focused on recycling with a zero-waste philosophy that incorporates development of value-added co-products. Its collaborative, community-based “agriculture and energy” production model demonstrates a full-circle system of sustainability and climate change solutions designed to help Hawaii achieve a clean, sustainable energy future.
2021: New Year, Sustained Mission, Renewed Hope
Update from Director of Operations Jenna Long
As I reflect back on the immense challenges of last year, I am very thankful for the continued support we have received from our community. Our employees, customers, vendors and other partners have supported our mission and enabled us to remain productive in 2020. I am especially grateful that through a combination of hard work and a little luck, our employees have kept themselves and their families healthy so far during this pandemic.
Though our work environments look very different today than last year at this time, we have adapted to the changes and continue to move the needle forward. In fact, our Big Island facility produced over 5.8 million gallons of biodiesel in 2020, our highest production volume ever and above our rated capacity estimates. Kudos goes out to our entire team for achieving this great milestone!
Read more of this update and other news from Pacific Biodiesel here.
Director of Operations Jenna Long and Plant Manager Al Leung sport masks donated by Sig Zane Designs. The Hilo design team donated 50 cloth masks from their fabrics to the team at Pacific Biodiesel’s Hawaii Island refinery.
Bob King Gives Keynote at the 2020 Biodiesel Production Technology Summit
September 16, 2020 – Pacific Biodiesel President and Founder Bob King was selected to give the Keynote speech at the 2020 Biodiesel Production Technology Summit. The theme of his presentation, “Our 25-Year Journey to a High-Efficiency, Zero Waste Plant Design,” recaps the company’s evolution as it celebrates its silver anniversary this year. The annual conference, which attracts the largest gathering of biofuels producers, was conducted virtually this year via webcast.
Biodiesel Production Continues Amid the Pandemic
Director of Operations Jenna Long Provides Update
This summer, our Pacific Biodiesel team has been working hard to continue biodiesel production amid the pandemic. We feel very grateful that our high volume customers, Hawaiian Electric and Hamakua Energy, have continued to purchase biodiesel at a steady pace through the year. This, plus our team’s continued detailed maintenance and attention to process, have kept our biodiesel plant running at close to full capacity despite the challenges brought by COVID-19.
We have watched with dismay the local restaurant industry’s struggles and we have of course seen our used cooking oil collections fall dramatically with unprecedented restaurant closures. However, we have been able to keep our plant fed through waste oils and animal fats brought in from the mainland US. Read more of this update and other news from Pacific Biodiesel here.
Based at at Pacific Biodiesel’s Hawaii Island refinery, Director of Operations Jenna Long reports on the company’s challenges and successes during the pandemic.
Resiliency, Community and the Aloha Spirit: We’re All In This Together
An Earth Day Message from Bob King:
From our Ohana to yours, all of us at Pacific Biodiesel hope you are staying safe and well as our community works together to fight COVID-19. Today marks the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. And this year, Pacific Biodiesel celebrates its 25 th Anniversary. At the start of 2020, we had grand plans to commemorate these milestones. And then a global pandemic happened…
What’s important now is what has always been most important to me: our families and employees are healthy and safe. And as I talk with my team around the state, they are happy coming to work doing what we do to keep producing our locally made biodiesel for Hawaii. Our refinery on Hawaii Island is running at full capacity to meet the renewable energy needs in our state, including serving our largest industrial and utility customers, like Hawaiian Electric and Hamakua Energy…
Read the rest of Bob King’s Earth Day letter here.
A symbol of hope and resiliency, this young sunflower photographed last week at the family farm of our founders, Bob and Kelly King, is entering its stage R2 (R representing the reproductive flowering stage) leading up to the full bloom.
Coming Full Circle – Pacific Biodiesel Marks 25 Years
2020 marks the 25th anniversary of Pacific Biodiesel! Our company started here on Maui in 1995 and created the first retail biodiesel pump in America. Today we produce 5.5 million gallons of biodiesel annually – made from used cooking oil we recycle from restaurants statewide. We’re Hawaii’s only commercial producer of liquid biofuels – proudly producing sustainable, locally made biodiesel to support a cleaner, greener Hawaii. To reflect back and hear what inspires our team today to continue our mission, enjoy this in-depth interview featured in Biodiesel Magazine with our founders, Bob and Kelly King, and our director of operations Jenna Long. MAHALO to Ron Kotrba, editor of Biodiesel Magazine, for this fantastic feature on Pacific Biodiesel to kick off our 25th anniversary year. Stay tuned as we share more memories, information and inspiration throughout this milestone year.
Pacific Biodiesel founder Bob King and daughter Jenna
Long, Director of Operations, drive the company’s mission of sustainable, local energy production in Hawaii.
Pacific Biodiesel Makes First Fuel Delivery to Hamakua Energy Power Generation Facility
November 4, 2019 – Pacific Biodiesel Technologies, LLC today made its first delivery of biodiesel to the Hamakua Energy power generation facility on Hawaii Island as part of the biodiesel supply contract the company last month signed with Pacific Current subsidiary Hamakua Energy, LLC.
As part of the agreement announced last week, Pacific Biodiesel Technologies, owner and operator of the biodiesel refinery on Hawaii Island, will supply biodiesel for Pacific Current’s Hamakua Energy power generation facility, a liquid-fuel-fired combined cycle power generation facility that sells power to Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) under an existing power purchase agreement (PPA). The facility is able to provide 22 percent of Hawaii Island’s generating capacity. Download the full press release here.
Pacific Current Subsidiary Hamakua Energy Signs Contract with Pacific Biodiesel
October 28, 2019 – Pacific Current and Pacific Biodiesel Technologies today announced the signing of a biodiesel supply contract that will help increase the use of locally sourced renewable fuels and advance Hawaii Island’s energy independence and energy security. Under the agreement, Pacific Biodiesel Technologies, owner and operator of the biodiesel refinery on Hawaii Island, will supply biodiesel for Pacific Current’s Hamakua Energy power generation facility also on Hawaii Island. The liquid-fuel-fired combined cycle power generation facility sells power to Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) under an existing power purchase agreement (PPA) and is able to provide 22 percent of Hawaii Island’s generating capacity. Download the full press release here.
Pacific Current President Scott Valentino (left) and Pacific Biodiesel President Bob King meet in Honolulu after signing a contract to supply locally produced biodiesel for the Hamakua Energy power generation facility located on Hawaii Island.
DLNR Transitions to Biodiesel on Maui
July, 2019 – This month the Department of Land and Natural Resources on Maui began the transition from petroleum diesel to biodiesel. DLNR staff filled their trucks with biodiesel at Pacific Biodiesel’s Hobron Avenue fueling station.
As co-chair of Hawaii’s Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission, the DLNR recognized in a November press release that ground transportation contributes significantly to Hawaii’s share of greenhouse gas emissions. The department has committed to fighting climate change with energy solutions that are that are clean, equitable, and resilient.
DLNR vehicles fuel with biodiesel at Pacific Biodiesel’s Maui Hobron station.
Locally produced renewable biodiesel supports a healthy environment by reducing harmful emissions by as much as 86% as compared to petroleum diesel.
Biodiesel Supporters Rally to Defeat Proposed Increase of State Tax on Biodiesel
May, 2019 – With new biodiesel taxes proposed this year at both the State Legislature and Maui County, supporters of renewable energy rallied with testimony against the increases. In HB 1467, the State was proposing a tax on biodiesel while providing exemptions for “alternative” fossil-based fuels including natural gas, coal-derived liquid fuels, liquified petroleum gas.
Blue Planet Foundation provided testimony opposing the bill noting in part, “HB 1467 would penalize consumers who support the State’s commitment to 100% renewable energy by using biodiesel as well as the companies who currently provide, or plan to provide, our communities with this locally produced, renewable fuel. If Hawaii is committed to a clean energy future, HB 1467 must not be passed.”
Pacific Biodiesel Director of Operations Jenna Long explained, “Unlike a number of other states, there’s no mandate for biodiesel here in Hawaii. Our state on-road tax exemption has been helpful but it is odd to see challenges to the minimal support we currently receive.” She continued, “And on the county level, Maui is trying to take away their road tax exemption. What we’re trying to point out to others is that, because there is such low support for renewables right now from the federal administration, we really depend on local and state support in order to compete with petroleum and the decades of subsidies that they’ve already received.” Read the full article in our June newsletter.
Bob King Presents at Hawaii Energy Conference
April, 2019 – Pacific Biodiesel President Bob King participated in the 2019 Hawaii Energy Conference (formerly the Maui Energy Conference) held at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in late March. King was a guest panelist discussing the topic, “What are the Investment Opportunities Today in Energy?”
King addressed the challenges facing Pacific Biodiesel. While the goal has always been to produce and distribute the locally produced renewable fuel within the state of Hawaii, he outlined one current option given the lack of support from the current administration in Washington.
Pacific Biodiesel’s Bob King joins a panel of experts at the Hawaii Energy Conference. Photo courtesy MEDB
“When the federal incentives slowed down, California stepped up and now they’ve got what’s called a low carbon fuel standard that makes it worthwhile to bring renewables to California,” King explained at the conference. “It seems silly, and I just cringe, why would we send fuel from here where it’s most expensive to California where it’s pretty cheap, but we have to get our path from here to there, and right now the big support we do have in Hawaii is from the PUC, from Hawaiian Electric.”
King noted that the lack of federal support for the biodiesel industry has created uncertainty while current state and county incentives are also waning. Read the article as reported in The Maui News.
Founders of Pacific Biodiesel Launch Maui’s First State-Licensed Industrial Hemp Farm
April 22, 2019 – In celebration of Earth Day, and in a continued effort to support sustainable, community-based agriculture and renewable energy, Pacific Biodiesel founders Bob and Kelly King today announced the development of Maui’s first state-licensed industrial hemp farm, operating under the Kings’ personal entity, Imua Energy, LLC. The 10-acre site located within the Kings’ 115-acre Biofuel Crop Farm in central Maui will be the first industrial hemp farm in the United States powered 100% by biodiesel.
The commercial farming operation will initially produce full-spectrum industrial hemp extract, including CBD. The hemp extract will be manufactured by Imua Energy and distributed by Maiden Hawaii Naturals, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pacific Biodiesel, and marketed to cosmetic manufacturers. Maiden Hawaii Naturals will also incorporate this premium hemp extract as a featured ingredient in its natural skincare brand, Kuleana®.
Click on these links to read the full press release and fact sheet. For more about the project click here.
In celebration of Earth Day, Pacific Biodiesel founders Bob and Kelly King today announced the development of Maui’s first state-licensed industrial hemp farm.
Maui Disposal Celebrates 50th Anniversary and Support of Renewable Fuel on Maui
April 6, 2019 – Celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year, Maui Disposal has made a commitment to sustainability by fueling with biodiesel.
Employees and their families visited the Pacific Biodiesel biofuel crop farm on a Saturday morning to learn about how biodiesel is made and the company’s model of sustainable agriculture for food, fuel, cosmetic products and more.
Maui Disposal Vice President of Operations Rick Miller said, “The tour was not only fun but was extremely educational – we had no idea about all the products you’ve developed!”
Maui Disposal employees and their families celebrate the company’s commitment to biodiesel at the Maui biofuel crop farm.
Pacific Biodiesel Farming State’s Largest Liquid Biofuel Crop
February 24, 2017 – Pacific Biodiesel Technologies began in February its scaled-up farming demonstration to grow biofuel crops including sunflowers in Maui’s central valley. The initial crop project on 115 acres will expand diversified agriculture by growing combine-harvested oil crops on land previously used for sugar cane production. This is the largest biofuel crop project in the state of Hawaii and the only biofuel farming operation in the state running on 100% renewable fuel, showcasing the company’s sustainable, community-based model of agriculture and renewable energy. For more information and videos about the project click here.
Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance Certifies Pacific Biodiesel Plant
Kahului, HI – April 22, 2016 – The Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance today announced that it has certified Pacific Biodiesel, Hawaii’s award-winning and internationally recognized producer of renewable fuels and the only commercial biofuel producer in the state, and its Big Island Biodiesel plant for showcasing sustainable biodiesel production and distribution practices. This is the first certification of its kind in the United States. Download the full press release here.
This milestone in sustainable certification was the subject of an article in the New York Times published in May.
Pacific Biodiesel Named “Platinum Certified Clean Fleet” Awardee
Blue Planet Foundation and Honolulu Clean Cities recognized Pacific Biodiesel Logistics as one of only two Hawaii companies to receive Platinum Certified Clean Fleet awards, the program’s most prestigious level. Platinum certification is reserved for public or commercial fleets that exclusively use renewable fuels or electricity for all vehicles in their fleet. Read more
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Pacific Biodiesel is proud to be partnered with environmental heroes like Willie Nelson. Check out this exciting video of Local and Sustainable Biodiesel in Oregon featuring the legendary singer himself.
Biodiesel Affirmed as Lowest-Carbon Fuel – CLICK HERE for article
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