The Biggest Oil Refinery in Hawaii to Shift to Biofuel

oil refinery to use biofuel
Image Source: Grangernite, CC BY 2.0

In an effort to make its operations green, the largest oil refinery in Hawaii is considering the use of biofuel as a replacement for oil.

According to Eric Wright, senior vice-president of Par Hawaii Inc. (the company who owns the plant), his company is already speaking with several biofuel developers, including two that would grow fuel crops to produce such fuel. Revealing some details of his company’s plans, Wright said:

“None of the projects are far enough along. We are working with these people closely to see if we can get one of these projects off the ground. We’re looking at several opportunities now.

“We have to test these materials. The plan would be to buy [biofuels] that could run through the refinery, offsetting a portion of petroleum feedstock.”

As for the timing, the vice-president admitted that it is still difficult to determine at this point. However, he said that they are already testing materials to find the best solution this year.

Par’s West Oahu refinery, which currently produces 94,000 barrels per day, was formerly operated by Tesoro Corp. It had been a long-time supplier of fuel to the largest utility in the state, Hawaiian Electric Co. However, the utility terminated its contract with Par at the end of last year, looking for energy efficiency and an increased use of renewable energy resources. Now, Par is looking into biofuel to comply with such regulations and the like.

Aside from this, the company is also looking for other business opportunities, such as shipping oil to other markets like South America.