By Sonia Isotov
On Friday, the Governor and military leaders will hold a press event announcing Maui-based Pacific BioDiesel’s new $2.4 million contract to assist the military in a biofuels demonstration project on Oahu.
The project is part of a Congressional appropriation that the Governor helped push through during his previous Congressional tenure.
“Since the military wants to build their own power plant, and they don’t make their own biofuels, we want to show them how they can utilize at least their buffer zone lands to grow,” said Kelly Takaya King, Vice President, Pacific BioDiesel.
King says that part of the project is to benefit the community “and we would like to use this to bring in some real agriculture machines like combines and crushing machines. I think that will bring us to a level where we have more options,” commented King.
Maui-based Pacific BioDiesel was also recently honored by the Hawaii Venture Capital Association for raising a notable amount of equity investment capital. 
“We raised even more funds in 2010 than in 2009 and were able to double the size of the Big Island BioFuels plant,” Kelly Takaya King, Vice President, Pacific BioDiesel told us. “We had people looking for places to invest at the end of 2010 because the state capital investment tax ended.”
Attracting investor’s is “about having a good project”, says King. “For many years, the industry was a lot about research and demonstrations that didn’t work. Investors are tired of putting money into that. They want to invest in something that is real and sustainable. Ours works. It’s a combination of proven and new technologies.”
Pacific Biodiesel was founded by Kelly and Bob King in 1995 in response to serious environmental and health concerns surrounding unmanageable quantities of used cooking oil at the Central Maui Landfill. Since its inception, Pacific Biodiesel has built 12 plants in the U.S. and Japan. The company has been recognized as a renewable energy pioneer by local, national, and international organizations.
Their Big Island Biodiesel plant will have a capacity of over 8,000 gallons per day, and more than 5 million gallons per year, and will utilize recently developed zero-waste, super efficient processing technology. This will play a significant role in helping Hawaii reach its energy independence and sustainability goals.
In addition to used cooking oil and trap grease feedstock, Hawaii’s newest biodiesel facility will support local farmers interested in growing biofuel crops. This state of the art, next generation biofuel refinery should be producing just in time for the 2011 international APEC Summit.