HR BioPetroleum Developing Algae Plant

HR BioPetroleum, Alexander & Baldwin Inc., Hawaiian Electric Company and Maui Electric Company announced that they have signed memoranda of understanding to pursue the joint development of a commercial-scale microalgae facility on Maui to produce lipid oil for conversion to biodiesel and other valuable products, such as animal feed. The Ma’alaea algae facility would be HR BioPetroleum’s first commercial facility.

HR BioPetroleum will be responsible for overall project management, including obtaining financing, and construction and operation of the microalgae facility. Alexander & Baldwin will provide strategically located land, adjacent to Maui Electric’s Ma’alaea Power Plant. Hawaiian Electric and Maui Electric companies will lead in determining the permitting and construction needs for piping to carry stack gases containing carbon dioxide, which the algae consume, from the Ma’alaea plant to an adjacent algae facility.

Construction of the facility is subject to a variety of factors, including confirmation of algae performance data from HR BioPetroleum’s pilot and demonstration facilities, receipt of required regulatory approvals and project financing commitments. Assuming these successfully occur as planned, the first phase of the commercial facility could be in operation by 2011.

“This innovative partnership can help move Hawaii one step closer to securing energy independence and achieving our goal of having 70 percent of Hawaii’s energy come from clean sources by 2030,” said Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle. “There is no single source of energy that will break our dependence on foreign oil, but investments in renewable projects such as this are part of the comprehensive solution to provide energy alternatives for our state.”

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