Hawaii has always been the nation’s leader when it comes to producing natural gas. Not only are we on pace to be the first state totally reliant on natural fuels, Hawaii is also a leader in new ways to create natural gas. The latest natural gas technique involves using fish oil to make natural gas.
The Gas Company has begun refining local fish oil into natural gas at its West Oahu plant in a pilot project that will eventually produce up to 1 million gallons a year of renewable fuel. This is just another step in the right direction for using natural gas, as Hawaii continues to try and provide the best quality of life in the entire nation.
The project by the Gas Company will replace from 5 percent to 7 percent of the petroleum-based naptha that the Gas Company currently uses to produce synthetic natural gas, and production could be expanded to comprise half of the company’s output in a few years, said Jeff Kissel, The Gas Company’s president and CEO.
Right now the Gas Company is only using fish oil as a base to create the new natural gas, however as the project gains more momentum, they plan to use other animal and vegetable byproducts to crate natural gas for the state of Hawaii.
“The production of renewable natural gas is a major milestone that will allow us to provide sustainable energy from local agricultural products that were previously discarded or shipped out of state,” Kissel said. “We’re making a contribution to the substantiality of the food and agricultural sectors in this island community.”
The company plans to hold a ceremony today to announce the new project, a ceremony that Governor Neil Abercrombie will attend.
According to Kissel, the pilot project is expected to last 12 to 18 months before production is expanded, he said. If successful, the project could indirectly boost livestock production in the state if farmers are guaranteed a market for some of the waste products from their operations.
All things right now point to this program being very successful, as there is enough non-food-grade oil and fat available from Hawaii’s fishing, cattle, pork and poultry industries to meet the Gas Company’s production target of 1 million gallons of renewable natural gas a year.
Hopefully this is another huge success for Hawaii and its endeavors to be the first state totally reliant on natural gas products.
The Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, awarded a $1 million grant to The Gas Company for the project. The company received no tax credits for the endeavor.