Paauilo slaughterhouse expanding


A rendering plant at the Paauilo slaughterhouse will make it easier for Hawaii’s ranchers to produce some cattle byproducts, Hawaii Cattleman’s Association President Tim Richards said.

“The byproducts that come out (of slaughtered cows) are in everything and everywhere,” said Richards, of Kahua Ranch.

Mainland slaughterhouses can render the products remaining after an animal is slaughtered and butchered into a variety of items, Richards said. The Paauilo facility won’t be able to make the full gamut of items, but will be able to render tallow, which could be used as a biofuel, and turn bones into bone meal for fertilizer.

Getting fertilizer to the island is expensive, and finding ways to create it locally is something farmers have been talking about doing for a long time, Richards said. The rendering plant is a step in that direction.

“Slaughterhouse capacity is a critical bottleneck for local ranchers and an impediment to the growth of a locally grown and grass-fed beef industry in the state,” he added in a written statement. “These new improvements at Paauilo are an important step forward.”

County officials announced Friday a groundbreaking event, scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday at the slaughterhouse. They did not say how long it would take the state to complete the $4.15 million in improvements, which include the rendering plant. County officials did not say when the work would be completed. A spokesman for Mayor Billy Kenoi did not return a message seeking that information as of press time Friday.

The project also includes wastewater disposal improvements and improved refrigeration space to expand the plant’s capacity. Construction will increase capacity by 40 percent and reduce processing backlogs that officials said “makes it difficult for ranchers to bring their animals to market in a timely fashion.”

Isemoto Contracting Co. Ltd. has the contract to expand refrigeration capacity and install a new dry chill box to age grass-fed beef before it is marketed, the county said in a press release Friday afternoon. Ludwig Construction will install the wastewater improvements, including a new septic system and improvements to enable the recycling of wash water to irrigate surrounding pastures. Site Engineering will make repairs to the rendering plant and install equipment that turns inedible waste into compost material and animal fat for processing into biofuels, the county said.

The state of Hawaii owns the slaughterhouse and leases it to Hawaii Beef Producers. It is one of two USDA-certified slaughterhouses on the island.