Keaau, HI – Another step toward energy independence was celebrated July 2, 2012 at the grand opening of Big Island Biodiesel, the latest project of Pacific Biodiesel Technologies, LLC. Big Island Biodiesel, LLC is Hawaii’s newest and most advanced biodiesel production facility and the first biofuel refinery to be built since 2000 when Pacific Biodiesel constructed its Sand Island refinery on Oahu. The project was the brainchild of Robert King, President of Pacific Biodiesel Technologies.
Big Island Biodiesel hosted some of Hawaii’s most influential dignitaries as well as speakers from the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The Independence Day themed event and barbeque were held at the Keaau site and included remarks from United States Senator Daniel K. Inouye and Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie. “Let’s not blink this time,” said Senator Inouye, referring to the early development of renewable energy, prompted by the oil crisis in the 1970’s, which died when petroleum prices dropped. Governor Abercrombie praised the local investment in the project, saying, “this is a commitment to renewable, this is a commitment to alternative, a commitment to energy itself and its role as a central feature of what it means to survive as a democracy in these Hawaiian Islands.”
President of Pacific Biodiesel Technologies, Bob King, and Engineering Manager Will Smith hosted tours of the refinery throughout the event. Paradise Helicopters provided aerial tours of the plant and nearby jatropha biofuel crop farm operated by Hilo resident James Twigg-Smith, while Keoki Kahumoku serenaded guests at the Energy Independence Day barbeque.
With this opening, the State’s biodiesel production capacity increases 500%, to 5.5 million gallons per year. Pacific Biodiesel’s cleaner, safer, highest-quality biodiesel is processed from used cooking or trap grease oil, virgin vegetable oil and/or animal fats, and can be used in any unmodified diesel engine.
Click HERE to watch the local TV news coverage of the Grand Opening and Celebration of Energy Independence at the Big Island Biodiesel facility.