[NEWS] Hawaiian Electric Interested in Sugar-Based Biofuels
– by Duane Shimogawa, April 20, 2016, Pacific Business News
Hawaiian Electric Co. and Alexander & Baldwin Inc. may be working on a deal where the Honolulu-based utility would utilize A&B subsidiary Hawaiian Commercial and Sugar Co.’s land for possible renewable energy projects as the 36,000-acre plantation shifts out of farming sugar, the head of HECO confirmed to PBN.
In January, A&B, one of the state’s largest landowners, said it was transitioning out of farming sugar at its HC&S plantation on the Valley Isle to move toward diversified agriculture. The transition will lead to the laying off of nearly all of the plantation’s 675 employees. In March, HC&S laid off nearly 100 employees as the company began to wind down its sugar operations.
Alan Oshima, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric, recently told PBN that he has met with Chris Benjamin, president and CEO of A&B and shared information for its fuels group regarding the possibility of using some of the Maui plantation land for renewable energy crops or projects.
“There are different kinds of crops we have looked at in the past and there might be some new technologies available we could look at,” Oshima said. “We promised to continue discussions.”