Hawaii Ethanol Plans Running Behind

Cindy Zimmerman

Hawaii Okay, show of hands out there. How many of you already knew that Hawaii is one of only two states in the nation currently with an ethanol mandate on the books? The other one is Minnesota – which makes sense since it is one of the nation’s largest ethanol-producing states. But, Hawaii is apparently going to have a problem meeting the requirement approved in September of 2004 that a majority of the state’s gasoline contain ten percent ethanol by April 2, 2006 … none of the six ethanol plants currently being built there are finished yet. I guess it seemed doable at the time, but a story in today’s Honolulu Star Bulletin says the state’s ethanol producers now expect it will be another year before they are fully operational to meet the demand. Hawaii will have to produce about 38 million gallons of ethanol a year to meet the requirement that 85 percent of the gasoline sold in the state be blended with ten percent ethanol – which it will be able to do once the plants are on-line. Until then, officials say they will be importing ethanol from the mainland to meet the requirement. Of course, the Hawaiian produced ethanol will not be made from corn – it will be made from sugar cane or it’s by-product bagasse. Meanwhile, the state has been getting prepared for the mandate by educating the public about ethanol.

Ethanol, Legislation