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HECO woos isle biofuel suppliers


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POSTED: Friday, April 02, 2010

Hawaiian Electric Co. is seeking biofuels produced, processed and distributed in Hawaii as part of its long-term goals.

The company issued a formal request yesterday for proposals, which may use land- or water-based crops, waste animal fat or yellow grease feedstocks that can be converted into liquid biofuel.

“;Nobody's going to grow this overnight,”; said HECO spokesman Peter Rosegg. “;We're prepared to make a commitment. It's time to move to the next step and try to get the locally grown manufactured diesel we've been hoping for.”;

The company hopes the call for proposals will test the market and determine what its next actions must be.

HECO is looking for biofuel supplies it can use at generation sites on Oahu, Maui, Molokai and the Big Island. That includes its recently completed 110-megawatt biodiesel plant at Campbell Industrial Park.

“;We have been importing the stuff, but we're using fossil fuel to import the biodiesel,”; Rosegg said. “;It would be much better from every point of view if someone could grow this stuff on a Hawaii island and we can use it on the Hawaii islands.”;

Responders are asked to “;think broadly”; of their approach, including noting benefits like the number and types of jobs created, expenditures to be made in the local economy and possible environmental services.