Hoku Scientific selling Kapolei headquarters
Isle alternative energy company Hoku Scientific Inc. said yesterday it is selling its Kapolei headquarters.
The company has accepted an undisclosed offer from Operating Engineers Local Union Number 3, District 17 (Hawaii) for its property and facility.
The purchase is subject to contingencies, including the sale by the union of its current Middle Street facility near downtown Honolulu, Hoku said.
Hoku's property is just more than 99,000 square feet, and the building, completed in 2005 for the research and production of fuel cells, is 14,000 square feet. More details of the sale will be released in a conference call to discuss Hoku's fiscal first-quarter results on Wednesday, said Jerrod Schreck, director of business development.
The company has been looking at "a number of locations" around Oahu for the new headquarters, which will be geared toward its solar business, he said. The company will keep its staff of about 25 employees.
"The growth of our solar installations business here in Hawaii has changed our real estate needs, Dustin Shindo, chief executive officer of Hoku, said in a statement. "Our Kapolei facility was originally designed for research, development, and production of our fuel cell membrane and MEA (Membrane Electrode Assembly) products, and it no longer suits our solar panel warehousing, solar project development and corporate office needs."
Hoku last year moved away from its fuel-cell business in favor of polysilicon production. The company announced in June 2007 that it was considering selling the Kapolei property.
In fiscal 2008 ending March 31, Hoku subsidiary Hoku Solar Inc. began seeing revenue from photovoltaic system installations and related services of $1.9 million through contracts with Paradise Beverages Inc., Hardware Hawaii, Bank of Hawaii and other commercial and residential customers.
Hoku Solar sells and installs turnkey photovoltaic power systems in Hawaii.
Hoku has said it expects to complete pilot production at its planned $390 million polysilicon plant in Pocatello, Idaho, in the fourth quarter of this calendar year.