Pearl Harbor Shuttle Boats Run on Biodiesel

By | March 09, 2009
April 14, 2009

Beginning in April 2009, the Pearl Harbor Naval Base was the first Hawai'i military marine fleet to use biodiesel. Shuttle boats that ferry passengers to the Arizona Memorial from the Visitors Center will eventually all be powered by a blend of 20% of the clean-burning renewable fuel. The biodiesel portion is produced by Pacific Biodiesel, Inc., a locally owned company which has been operating in Hawaii for over 13 years. Since its inception, Pacific Biodiesel has been dedicated to the production of biodiesel from locally-collected used cooking oil.

"Our process accomplishes two important tasks of dire importance, especially for an island community," explained Pacific Biodiesel President Bob King. "We are recycling waste at a tremendous rate and we are creating a clean renewable fuel."

Aloha Petroleum currently delivers the biodiesel blend to the Navy's new clean diesel shuttle fleet. An activation ceremony featuring Hawai'i senior senator Daniel Inouye was held for the first vessel of this new fleet, which arrived in March and is named the John W. Finn in honor of the Medal of Honor recipient and Pearl Harbor attack survivor. The ceremony took place on April 7, 2009 at the Arizona Memorial Visitors Center.

Biodiesel is a cleaner-burning, non-toxic alternative to petroleum diesel. It is biodegradable in water and thus causes no harm to our oceans if spilled. Even in blends, emissions of smoke, carcinogens, aromatics and other pollutants are reduced. The fuel produced at Pacific Biodiesel's facilities meets the current U.S. ASTM biodiesel specifications, a standard that is recognized internationally.

Pacific Biodiesel has built 11 biodiesel plants in the U.S. and Japan, including two in Hawaii. The Oahu facility has been operational since its construction in 2001 and recycles approximately 615,000 gallons of oil waste from Hawai'i restaurants each year. All of the fuel produced by Pacific Biodiesel in Hawai'i is sold locally to help our state meet our energy independence goals. The company is currently planning a third Hawai'i biodiesel plant, on the Big Island, which will utilize its new zero-waste, super efficient processing technology and also include capacity to process locally grown biofuels crops as they become available.

For more information, contact:

Kelly King
Vice President, Pacific Biodiesel, Inc.

Grace Hewlen
Navy Region Hawaii
(808) 473-2926
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