- Hawaii Gas plans to begin importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) in 2019, the company told Pacific Business News, despite delays in a similar proposal from Hawaiian Electric Co.
- The gas utility will supply independent power producers on the island, along with other industries, potentially saving the state up to $100 million by shifting away from more expensive oil generation.
- HECO's own project has been delayed two years, but the utility still plans to import as much as 800,000 tons annually for a joint LNG-biomass facility.
Hawaii Gas has not altered its plan to begin importing LNG in 2019, and told Pacific Business News that it expects to receive final bids in the near future. “We are getting final bids shortly from finalists. We’ve had a very good list to choose from," said Alicia Moy, president and CEO of the state's only regulated gas utility.
Moy would not name potential suppliers, but if Hawaii can replace half of its oil generation with LNG it would save residents about $55 million each year.
Hawaii Gas' timeline is now the same as HECO's own plan to import LNG. The electric utility filed documents with state regulators indicating its plan has been delayed by two years, Pacific Business News reported earlier this month.
HECO has asked the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission for approval of the 50-megawatt Schofield Generating Station on Oahu that would burn Hawaii-grown biomass and liquefied natural gas. The plant could help the state move closer to its renewables goals, but would have to be phased out before 2045, when Hawaii, by law, will be supplied by 100% renewables generation.