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Posted: 9/22/2004 6:36:58 AM EST

LIHU`E - Governor Linda Lingle today signed new administrative rules to implement a 10-year-old law mandating that ethanol be added to gasoline sold in Hawai`i. The Governor signed the rules during a membership meeting of the Kaua`i Chamber of Commerce where business executives from the island's ethanol and sugar industries gathered to celebrate the adoption of the rules.

The new regulations call for at least 85 percent of Hawai`i's gasoline to contain 10 percent ethanol beginning in April 2006. An exemption is allowed if competitively priced ethanol is not available, or in the case of undue hardship.

"Implementing ethanol blending rules is another step toward our commitment to creating greater energy self-sufficiency for our state," said Governor Lingle, who signed legislation earlier this year requiring that by the year 2020 at least 20 percent of Hawai`i's electricity will be produced from renewable resources. "Renewable energy sources like ethanol have the potential to offer significant benefits to Hawai`i's economy and energy security, and it's imperative for Hawai`i to continue to move in this direction."

The rules reflect a long process that involved representatives from all segments of the energy sector, agriculture community, and environmental groups that culminated in a formal public hearing conducted on August 12, 2004. Many of the testifiers at the hearing commented on the importance of ethanol in moving Hawai`i toward renewable fuels, reducing Hawai`i's dependence on imported petroleum, and diversifying and strengthening Hawai`i's agricultural sector. Several testifiers stated that it has been 10 years since the original law was passed and "it's time to get on with it."

"Hawai`i is one of a handful of states without ethanol fuel use or production, yet study after study has shown that Hawai`i has the potential to produce fuel for use locally as well as for export." said Ted Liu, director, Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, whose department oversaw the development and public input of the new rules.

According to Liu, it is estimated that at least 40 million gallons of ethanol per year will be required to meet the mandate. Studies have pegged Hawai`i's ethanol production potential at 90 million gallons per year in the short-term and over 400 million gallons per year as a mature industry.

Ethanol-blended fuels are widely used in the United States and are approved for use by all automakers. It is estimated that 30 percent of all gasoline used in the United States this year will be blended with ethanol. In many areas of California, Connecticut, New York, Minnesota, and other states, a significant portion of the gasoline contains ethanol.

For more information on ethanol as a fuel additive or details on the new regulations, contact the State's ethanol rules office at ethanolrules@dbedt.hawaii.gov or view the ethanol Web page at www.hawaii.gov/dbedt/ert/ethanol.html.



Huh? They have ethanol industry executives, yet no ethanol production? Interesting study, in that the estimate is 40MGY will be required to satisfy the mandate. Anybody want to guess what the typical production capacity of a current-generation pilot ethanol plant is? Anyone? Do I hear 40MGY? What a racket.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 6:46:41 AM EST
Not a paradox.

All fuel is imported to Hawaii. They do have a substantial ag industry though. My guess is that shortly, someone will want to create an ethanol production facility locally so that it can be mixed at the fuel terminals. Lots of pork, but more importantly, lots of employment...
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 6:52:00 AM EST

Originally Posted By DriftPunch:
Not a paradox.

All fuel is imported to Hawaii. They do have a substantial ag industry though. My guess is that shortly, someone will want to create an ethanol production facility locally so that it can be mixed at the fuel terminals. Lots of pork, but more importantly, lots of employment...

Where? The equipment all comes from one or two suppliers on the mainland. The prime contractor will be from the mainland. The plant, when operational, will be almost a "lights-out" facility, with only a couple of operators needed to load and unload trucks. The winner in this will be the financers/constructors/operators/owners of the facility. They have a protected market, and a state mandate to consume everything they produce, regardless of cost. This is the same model that has been used to construct 95% of all ethanol facilities in the US.
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