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HECO seeks bids for biofuel to burn at Kahe Power Plant

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 5:08 p.m. HST, Apr 29, 2011

Hawaiian Electric Co. said today it is seeking bids from companies to supply up to 42 million gallons a year of biofuel to generate electricity at the company’s Kahe Power Plant.

The request for proposals calls for suppliers to provide “biocrude”made from organic material that can be blended with the low-sulfur fuel oil currently burned in the boilers in HECO’s steam-driven Kahe generators. HECO said it would prefer the biocrude be made from locally produced feedstocks, however that is not a requirement.

Bidders that can’t supply the full 42 million gallons may propose lesser volumes, HECO said. Delivery of the biocrude would begin in mid-2014.

HECO decided to seek a supply biocrude after successfully completing a test earlier this year in which it burned 100 percent crude palm oil in one of the generating units at is Kahe power plant.

The shift toward greater use of biofuels is part of HECO’s goal of generating 40 percent of its electricity from non-petroleum sources by 2030.

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