PROPANE PRODUCTION STARTS UP AGAIN
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Liliha Bakery reopened Sunday after closing for four days when it ran out of propane for its ovens. Carol Asentista, cashier supervisor at the bakery, displayed a tray of coco puffs, an island favorite. While the fuel shortage appears to be ending, a distributor is asking users to continue to conserve. CLICK FOR LARGE
Liliha Bakery back in business
Liliha Bakery reopens as a lightning-caused shortage nearly comes to an end
PASTRIES ARE rolling out of the Liliha Bakery ovens again this week with the resumption of propane gas production at Chevron Hawaii.
But a propane distributor has urged consumers not to turn on the spa and pool heater just yet.
The plant producing liquefied petroleum gas is at 60 percent of normal capacity and it will take a while for customers' tanks to be filled, according to a statement from The Gas Co.
The bakery re-opened Sunday, four days after being forced to close because it ran out of propane to fuel the ovens, said Chris Murai, operations manager.
It was one of hundreds of businesses and other customers affected after lightning struck Chevron's Kapolei plant Feb. 21.
Chevron spokesman Albert Chee said yesterday that repairs at the plant were completed Friday. The company has resumed supplying The Gas Co. and Oahu Gas Service, which deliver to individual customers. Chee declined to comment on how much propane is being produced.
Chevron notified The Gas Co. that production is at 60 percent and will be not be at full capacity for about a week, according to The Gas Co. release.
"We are still urging customers to conserve gas," said The Gas Co. spokesman Tom Kobashigawa. "It takes awhile to ramp up production."
He said The Gas Co. has also received a foreign shipment of 1.8 million gallons of propane that are being delivered directly to the neighbor islands.
"We haven't had to curtail our customers," Kobashigawa said. "We have been partially filling tanks" for 39,000 propane customers, about 12,000 of which are on Oahu. "It will take a while to top up the tanks and resume normal delivery."
He said the distributor also receives supplies from Chevron's competitor Tesoro, which increased production in recent weeks.
A spokesman for the other major distributor, Oahu Gas Service, said earlier it was reserving the bulk of its supply for hospitals and 35 public schools and had curtailed deliveries to others. He could not be reached for comment yesterday.