Gas Co. plans new energy options


POSTED: Monday, August 24, 2009

The Gas Co. LLC and a subsidiary of Primoris Services Corp. have signed a memorandum of understanding that is expected to lead to a joint development agreement to increase the renewable components in the Gas Co.'s gas supply.

The companies are developing technology to reduce further the Honolulu-based Gas Co.'s carbon footprint by incorporating domestically produced alternatives to petroleum for gas supply in Hawaii.

“;Jointly with Primoris, we are adapting our unique synthetic natural gas technology to utilize agricultural feedstock, rather than petroleum, as we meet the needs of Hawaii's residents and business for low-cost, clean gas energy,”; said Jeffrey Kissel, president and chief executive officer of the Gas Co.

“;With more than 60 years' experience in the energy sector, Primoris is the ideal partner for us to adapt our hydrogen-based technology to reduce Hawaii's dependence on foreign-sourced oil.”;

The agreement, which was announced today, focuses on development of production facilities at the Gas Co.'s synthetic natural gas plant to process agricultural products and landfill gas into bio-methane, renewable diesel or similar products. It also addresses the improvement of energy and economic efficiency of operations at the plant.

The Gas Co.'s synthetic natural gas plant, the only one of its kind in the United States, utilizes a catalytic process to convert the byproducts of petroleum refining into methane (chemically identical to natural gas) and hydrogen for distribution to its customers in metropolitan Honolulu. The process utilizes recycled waste water to produce hydrogen for about 5 percent of the utility gas supply. In addition, the plant captures CO2 produced in the process and recycles it to nearby industrial users for dry ice, carbonation and other uses.

Lake Forest, Calif.-based Primoris Services, the parent of subsidiary Primoris Renewables, had revenue of $610 million in 2008.

It provides a wide range of construction, fabrication, maintenance and replacement services, as well as engineering services to major public utilities, petrochemical companies, energy companies, municipalities and other customers.

The Gas Co. is a subsidiary of Macquarie Infrastruction Co.