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Imperium Renewables Biodiesel Plant – Oahu, Hawaii

STATUS: Canceled

TYPE:   Biodiesel Plant

OPPOSITION:  Environmental groups (not specified in source materials)

PROSPECTS: Unlikely

BACKGROUND:  In July 2008, Imperium Renewables announced it was delaying plans to build a $151 million dollar, 100-million-gallon-per-year, biodiesel plant at the Kalaeloa Harbor in Oahu.  The company has experienced financial setbacks and the delay was announced shortly after a second round of layoffs.

Because Imperium would have to import vegetable oil, as there is no current production of oil crops on Hawaii agriculture lands, environmental groups opposed the project.  These groups argued that cheaply produced oil crops contribute to rainforest destruction, soil erosion, water pollution and social justice issues. 

Plans for the project were cancelled when Imperium collapsed financially and the company had to pull a planned, $345 million stock deal.

In August 2009, The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission  rejected a proposal for the Hawaiian Electric Co. to import biodiesel from Imperium's plant in Washington state to power a new electric plant on Oahu. The deal was an amended contract, which the electric company put forward after its original fuel-supply deal with Imperium fell through in 2008.

SOURCES: GreenTechMedia: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/another-setback-for-imperium-1219.html;
Puget Sound Business Journal: http://seattle.bizjournals.com/seattle/stories/2008/08/11/daily16.html;
Legacy Project Hawaii: http://legacyprojectshawaii.com/2007-04-05.php;
Nature Alert:  http://naturealert.blogspot.com/2008/04/deadly-price-southeast-asias-endangered.html;
Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/2009/08/06/imperium-biodiesel-hawaii-technology-breakthroughs-imperium_print.html

Last updated November 10, 2010