Now slated to burn bagasse instead, this $80 million project is designed to produce 12-million gallons of ethanol from sugar juice and molasses.
The ethanol plant is part of this historic sugar company’s transition to a renewable energy plantation on 7,500 acres of cane fields.
According to G&R’s Alan Kennett, “the major concern in the decision to not burn coal is not to put our entire energy plan at risk”.
Pacific West Energy President William Maloney told Apollo Kauai that "coal will not be part of our business model, as either a primary or supplemental fuel for the ethanol plant or power generation”.
Says Maloney, “we have commenced the necessary re-modeling to modify our existing air permit for the ethanol plant to convert to a biomass (bagasse) boiler."
G&R also intends to reduce and hopefully eliminate the burning of sugar cane in the fields.Construction for the plant is expected to begin by late-December or early-January and be operational by the second quarter of 2009, Kennett said.
The Gay & Robinson Ag-Energy operation would produce almost one-third of the state’s 40-million-gallon demand for ethanol, Maloney has said.
Future business plans, Maloney has said, call for a renewable energy power plant, hopefully operational within three years, that is expected to produce 25 megawatts in part from solar, biodiesel and hydro power.Later, a methane recovery system and the processing of municipal solid waste will be added to the “energy plantation,” he said.
Bravo to good buddy Ben Sullivan and the Apollo Kauai gang for persisting in what has been a marvelous learning experience.