Hawaii biomass plant construction halted as developer awaits regulatory OK

Work on a Hawaii biomass facility that was expected to generate 10% of the island's electricity needs has been halted until the developer, Hu Honua Bioenergy, receives the final regulatory permits and approvals, according to John Sylvia, the company's CEO.

The company is waiting on final regulatory permits and approvals, and has had to extend the construction schedule and reduce construction activity until it receives pending permits and approvals, he says.

The 21.5MW biomass facility, built on the former Hilo Coast Power Co. plant at the Pepeekeo Sugar Mill, has been operating on a day-to-day basis and it is unknown when development will be able to restart. Hu Honua Bioenergy plans for the plant to operational in the fourth quarter of 2014.

It also anticipates the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission making a decision by the end of this year. Reasons behind the hold on work at the facility have not been disclosed.

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