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Hawaiian Electric considering use of liquefied natural gas

March 20, 2014 - 6:07am

The Hawaiian Electric Co. is exploring the use of liquefied natural gas for power generation.

On March 11, the company issued a request for proposals for the supply and delivery of up to 800,000 tons of LNG per year.

The fuel would be used to offset the use of oil at power plants on the Big Island, Oahu, Maui, Molokai and Lanai.

The switch would provide for a cheaper and cleaner fuel, Hawaiian Electric says.

Fuel costs make up 70 percent of electric rates on the islands, according to the RFP.

“Hawaiian Electric remains fully committed to meeting and exceeding its renewable portfolio standards,” the document says. “LNG is to be utilized to displace more costly and less environmentally-friendly oil products … and is not intended to displace renewable energy.”

LNG can be transported in bulk containers or barges, Hawaiian Electric says.

Once it reaches Hawaii, the fuel could be transported to power plants through pipelines once regasified or by containers.

Development, permitting, and implementation of a bulk LNG import and regasification terminal could take up to eight years to complete, the RFP says. Hawaii Electric anticipates such infrastructure to be put into service between 2020 and 2022.

About two-thirds of the demand for LNG would be on Oahu, according to the company.

Deadlines for submissions are May 16 and 23 respectively for LNG supply and LNG logistic services. The company intends to submit a proposed contract to the state Public Utilities Commission by August.

To view the RFP, visit

Email Tom Callis at