Alexander & Baldwin (ticker: ALEX, exchange: NASDAQ Global Select Market (.O))
News Release -
HR BioPetroleum, Alexander & Baldwin, Hawaiian Electric and Maui Electric to Develop Algae Facility for Biodiesel on Maui
Honolulu, Hawaii: HR BioPetroleum, Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALEX),
Hawaiian Electric Company and Maui Electric Company, subsidiaries of Hawaiian
Electric Industries, Inc. (NYSE: HE), today announced that they have signed
memoranda of understanding to pursue the joint development of a commercial-scale
microalgae facility on Maui to produce lipid oil for conversion to biodiesel
and other valuable products, such as animal feed.
Under the agreements:
- HR BioPetroleum will be responsible for overall project management, including
obtaining financing, and construction and operation of the microalgae facility.
- Alexander & Baldwin will provide strategically located land, adjacent to
Maui Electric's Ma'alaea Power Plant, to site the algae production ponds and
processing plant, and may provide equity capital to the project.
- Hawaiian Electric and Maui Electric companies will lead in determining the
permitting and construction needs for piping to carry stack gases containing
carbon dioxide, which the algae consume, from the Ma'alaea plant to an adjacent
Construction of the commercial microalgae facility is subject to a variety
of factors, including confirmation of algae performance data from HR BioPetroleum's
pilot and demonstration facilities, receipt of required regulatory approvals,
formation of a special purpose entity, project financing commitments and the
signing of definitive agreements with Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and A&B.
Assuming these successfully occur as planned, the first phase of the commercial
facility could be in operation by 2011.
"This innovative partnership can help move Hawaii one step closer to securing
energy independence and achieving our goal of having 70 percent of Hawaii's
energy come from clean sources by 2030," said Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle.
"There is no single source of energy that will break our dependence on foreign
oil, but investments in renewable projects such as this are part of the comprehensive
solution to provide energy alternatives for our state."
Microalgae have significant potential as an energy crop, with the prospect
for very high levels of oil production per acre. When combined with other vegetable-oil
crops that could be grown locally, such as jatropha or palm, algae could help
meet the biodiesel feedstock need for biodiesel on Maui, which now fuels about
85 percent of its combustion generation with petroleum diesel.
The Ma'alaea algae facility would be HR BioPetroleum's first commercial facility.
"This agreement is a welcome step in HR BioPetroleum's efforts to accelerate
its proven technology toward commercial scale," stated Ed Shonsey, HR BioPetroleum
chief executive officer.
"HR BioPetroleum has developed techniques to scale production and achieve
at least a 50 percent improvement over the price per barrel of fossil fuel today,
while mitigating carbon dioxide release into the atmosphere. This is tremendous
technological progress as we seek energy solutions that also attack global warming,"
"Alexander & Baldwin has been producing renewable energy in Hawaii for more
than 100 years through biomass and hydro-electric generation at its agricultural
operations on both Maui and Kauai, and today generates approximately seven percent
of the electricity used on each of those islands," said Allen Doane, A&B chairman
"We are excited about the promise of algae as another renewable energy source,
and look forward to the potential reduction in imported oil and greenhouse gas
emissions it represents," Doane continued.
"Hawaiian Electric is very pleased to be part of this pioneering accord,"
said Mike May, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric. "Along with many other
initiatives in the works, this is another example of how successful partnerships
can move Hawaii toward a clean, renewable energy future we can all take pride
"As we move toward siting an algae facility next to Maui Electric's power
plant, we will meet more of our energy needs at home and also reduce our carbon
footprint," said Dr. Karl Stahlkopf, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president
for energy solutions and chief technology officer. "This project entails some
uncertainly. Stepping forward to be a first implementer of a new idea always
"However, it unites the best of the new Hawaii high-tech industry with two
long-established Hawaii infrastructure companies in a unique partnership. We
have good reason to be confident it will be a step toward energy self sufficiency,
not only for Hawaii but for the nation and the world," Stahlkopf said.
For HR BioPetroleum: Piia Aarma, 808-737-1904/221-2102, firstname.lastname@example.org
For Alexander & Baldwin: Meredith J. Ching, 808-525-6669, email@example.com
For Hawaiian and Maui Electric: Peter Rosegg, 808-371-7474 firstname.lastname@example.org
About HR BioPetroleum
HR BioPetroleum, Inc., (HRBP) is a Hawaii-based and -founded renewable biofuels
company focused on using the most productive plants on earth - marine algae
- to produce biofuel feedstocks while simultaneously reducing industrial emissions
of CO2. HRBP intends to construct and operate commercial algae facilities that
will convert carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and other large point
sources of carbon dioxide into feedstocks for biofuels and other valuable products.
In 2007 HRBP and Royal Dutch Shell PLC, the international energy company, formed
Cellana, a separate joint venture, to operate a demonstration facility to grow
marine algae and produce vegetable oil for conversion into biofuel. Additional
information is available at www.hrbp.com.
About Alexander & Baldwin
Alexander & Baldwin, Inc., (NASDAQ:ALEX) headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii is
engaged in ocean transportation and logistics services, through its subsidiaries,
Matson Navigation Company, Inc. and Matson Integrated Logistics, Inc.; in real
estate, through A&B Properties, Inc.; and in food products, through Hawaiian
Commercial & Sugar Company and Kauai Coffee Company, Inc. Additional information
about A&B may be found at: www.alexanderbaldwin.com.
About Hawaiian Electric and Maui Electric Company
Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., and its subsidiaries, Maui Electric Company,
Ltd., and Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc., provide electricity to 95 percent
of the state's 1.2 million residents on Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, Lanai and Molokai.
For more than 100 years, Hawaiian Electric has provided the electricity to power
the islands' progress, first as a kingdom, then a U.S. territory and since 1959
as the 50th state. Additional information is available at www.heco.com.
Statements in this press release that are not historical facts are "forward-looking
statements," within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform
Act of 1995, that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause
actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the relevant
forward-looking statement. Factors that could cause actual results to differ
materially from those contemplated in the statements include, without limitation,
overall economic conditions, failure to satisfy the conditions set forth in
the memoranda of understanding, including the receipt of required regulatory
approvals and sufficient project funding, and other risks associated generally
with the commercial development of large-scale commercial algae facilities.
These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. This
release should be read in conjunction with Hawaiian Electric Industries' and
Alexander & Baldwin's Annual Reports on Form 10-K and their other filings with
the SEC through the date of this release, which identify important factors that
could affect the forward-looking statements in this release.