‘Āina Koa Pono’s first project is at Ka‘ū, the southernmost point of Hawai‘i Island. About $450 million is being privately raised to finance the complex. AKP will concentrate on producing biofuel at Ka‘ū to supply Hawaiian Electric Light Company (HELCO), the local utility, with a sustainable biodiesel for power generation, replacing 90 percent of its current use of fossil fuel at the Keāhole power plant, the island’s largest electric generation unit.
Logistics and distribution will be handled by Mansfield Oil Company, a privately owned nationwide fuel distributor. Mansfield will also purchase a third of the initial production for distribution in Hawai‘i and on the mainland. Mansfield is one of the nation’s top 50 privately held companies according to Forbes.
AKP’s facility will also produce 26 MW of electricity for its own operation. The company will sublimate, or extract, feedstock solids directly to a gaseous state. The gas will then be used to power a generator to produce electricity. The sublimation process produces a high-BTU gas without the harmful chemicals and high energy consumption associated with typical gasification processes.
Through an agreement with Edmund C. Olson Trust II and Mallick Trust, ‘Āina Koa Pono will farm about 12,000 acres of under-utilized, private agricultural land in Pāhala that was once part of Ka‘ū Sugar Company.
Jobs & Taxes
Our project will help revitalize the fading agriculture industry and generate hundreds of jobs in an area that has few now. We anticipate 200 direct permanent operation and farming jobs with an estimated payroll around $22 million/year. Many indirect jobs are likely.
A biorefinery will be constructed on the Ka‘ū lands and construction is expected to require 400 workers over three years.
Over 22 years, the project is expected to generate nearly $200 million in general excise and personal income tax revenues.
The biorefinery will initially process existing invasive plants, eucalyptus trees and local green waste products such as macadamia nut husks, tree trimmings and coffee pulp and hulls.
‘Āina Koa Pono is working with the Hawai‘i Agriculture Research Center (HARC) to select appropriate, non-invasive crops for longer-term production. AKP has sought consultation from Hawaiian Islands Land Trust on appropriate bio-crops.