Hawaii Gas clears hurdle to bring LNG to state


Hawaii Gas Thursday received a decision from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that could allow the company to bring liquefied natural gas to the state.

As Hawaii’s only franchised gas utility, the company is already in compliance with most of the necessary state and federal statutes required for the safe transport and use of LNG. It must also seek approval from the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

In anticipation of receiving the required approvals, Hawaii Gas has secured the equipment necessary for the vaporization of LNG and two LNG shipping containers. The company plans to employ up to 20 containers in a continuous cycle of transport of liquefied natural gas from the Continental U.S. to Hawaii. The company has prepared its staff, developed safety procedures and begun the process of training and educating essential first responders to assure the safe and reliable operation of the equipment and gas service. This is a critical part of the process that the company uses to put new gas products in service.

Hawaii Gas expects to be prepared to receive a first container of LNG in about 60 days, or in sufficient time to provide emergency back-up service prior to the April 30 closure of the Tesoro refinery.

At current prices LNG is about 25 percent less expensive than the feedstock used to produce the synthetic natural gas distributed to Hawaii Gas utility customers.