Pacific Biodiesel Closes Maui Plant, Shifts to Kea`au
by Hunter Bishop
Used cooking oil from Maui will be processed at Pacific Biodiesel’s production plant in Keaau now that its plant on Maui has closed, Pacific Biodiesel said in a press release today.
The Maui plant was the prototype for Pacific Biodiesel in 1996 and was “the longest continually operating commercial biodiesel processing facility in the nation,” said today’s release.
But “multiple permits and extensive upgrades” of the facility were required to continue operating under new Maui County regulations, said Robert King, president and founder. “With just over two years left on our contract, we couldn’t justify the costly site improvements that were required to meet the county’s demands.”
Pacific Biodiesel will continue its pumping and collection of used cooking oil and trap grease waste on Maui and Lanai, and its collection and processing facilities on the Big Island and Oahu, the release said, and Biodiesel fuel will continue to be distributed island-wide.
But the cooking oil formerly “pre-processed” on Maui now will be sent directly to the Big Island refinery without it, the release said.
The $13 million Big Island Biodiesel plant was opened in the Shipman Business Park in July 2012.