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HTDC Grants Assist Biodiesel Expenses on Big Island

October 24, 2018, 12:43 PM HST (Updated October 24, 2018, 12:43 PM)
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The Hawai‘i Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) provided more than $900,000 in grant funds to 29 Hawai‘i-based manufacturing companies in June. The Manufacturing Assistance Program (MAP) grant assisted Pacific Biodiesel with funding for equipment purchases and qualified manufacturing expenses for its 5.5 MMgy biodiesel plant and value-added product development on Hawai‘i Island and waste oil collection center on O‘ahu.

At its O‘ahu facility, Pacific Biodiesel upgraded its wastewater pretreatment equipment and centrifuge system to increase the recovery of yellow and brown greases from trap waste. On Hawai‘i Island, qualified manufacturing expenses included an ISO container loading platform, a pretreatment filtration trough system and three new reactors for more efficient production and storage capabilities. A previous MAP grant assisted Pacific Biodiesel with funding to upgrade processing equipment for the company’s new line of natural beauty oil products.

“With the developing technology landscape, we’re excited to be able to support our local tech and manufacturing companies through administering these grants,” said Robbie Melton, executive director and CEO of HTDC. “Beyond their monetary value, these grants support hiring employees for high-wage jobs and help put Hawai‘i on the map as an innovator for manufacturing.”

Twenty-three of the 29 local companies are first-time recipients and six, including Pacific Biodiesel, were repeat recipients of the grant.

The MAP grant provides up to 20% reimbursement (up to $100,000 per company) on qualified expenses, which totaled an investment greater than $6 million by the companies that received funding this year. The qualified expenses that companies can receive reimbursement for include equipment purchases, training, energy effiency projects and manufacturing feasibility studies.

The MAP grant is administered by HTDC’s INNOVATE Hawai‘i, a national program funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, which provides assistance to Hawai‘i manufacturers to grow and expand their business. Additional information about the MAP grant and INNOVATE Hawai‘i can be found online.

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