First Sugarcane Ethanol Plant Planned

Cindy Zimmerman

Gay Rob SugarGay & Robinson Inc. and Pacific West Energy LLC have formed a partnership to develop the first fuel ethanol plant in America to create renewable power and clean-burning ethanol fuel from sugarcane. The new 12-million-gallon-per-annum plant will use sugar juice and molasses as feedstock.

According to a news release, “the newly created partnership, Gay & Robinson Ag-Energy LLC, will also ensure the continuation of the Gay & Robinson agricultural enterprise, one of the oldest in Hawaii. Approximately 230 jobs will be preserved, and a large area of West Kauai will be maintained in sustainable agriculture.”

The initial $80 million phase of capital investment will include installation of a new biomass boiler and turbine generator to efficiently produce renewable electricity. Design and engineering work has begun, and an air permit for the ethanol plant has been secured. Future business plans call for additional stages of energy production, including biodiesel production, a methane recovery system, the processing of municipal solid waste, hydro power, the conversion of biomass into liquid fuels and solar energy production.

Ethanol, News