Maui News

Approvals Sought For Liquefied Natural Gas in Hawai’i

January 18, 2013, 8:36 AM HST
* Updated January 18, 8:37 AM
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Neighbor Island barge shipment file photo by Wendy Osher.

Neighbor Island barge shipment file photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved the delivery of Liquefied Natural Gas to the state.

HAWAI’IGAS, the state’s only government franchised full-service gas company, intends to reduce the state’s reliance on imported oil by making Liquefied Natural Gas available in Hawai’i.

According to company officials the product is about 25% less expensive than the feedstock used to produce synthetic natural gas currently distributed to utility customers.

HAWAI’IGAS Gas expects to be prepared to receive its first container of Liquefied Natural Gas in about 60 days, in sufficient time to provide emergency back-up service prior to the April 30th closure of the Tesoro refinery.

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“Now that the FERC is releasing jurisdiction for this phase of the operation to the state, HAWAI’IGAS will complete the process of obtaining the appropriate state and local permits so that the service can commence before the anticipated closure date of the Tesoro refinery,” said Company CEO Jeff Kissel.

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In anticipation of receiving the required approvals, HAWAI’IGAS has secured the equipment necessary for the vaporization of LNG and two LNG shipping containers.

Company officials say they plan to employ up to 20 containers in a continuous cycle of transport of Liquefied Natural Gas from the Continental US to Hawai’i.

Approvals are still required from the Hawai’i Public Utilities Commission.

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