Hawaii Gas wants to keep HECO at a safe distance in LNG expansion project

Hawaii Gas wants to keep HECO at a safe distance in LNG expansion project

Hawaii Gas, which is investing about $13 million in its recent expansion plan regarding liquefied natural gas that would replace up to 30 percent of its current fuel supply, wants to keep Hawaiian Electric Co. at a safe distance in its approval case with Hawaii regulators.

HECO, the state’s largest utility, also is looking into importing LNG.

Hawaii Gas, in a public filing with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission this week, said that if HECO is allowed to take part, or intervene, in the case, it will delay the process.

“Intervention by Hawaiian Electric is likely to unduly broaden the issues to include review and analyses of Hawaiian Electric’s plan and operations, and create delays in the proceedings due to confidentiality issues,” Hawaii Gas said. “[We] believe that these concerns can be mitigated if Hawaiian Electric is granted participant status, is restricted from obtaining confidential information and is limited to providing information and/or comments only to the extent necessary to protect its business interests relating to the implementation of LNG to Hawaii.”

The Honolulu-based company, which became the first utility in the state to begin shipping LNG to the Islands in April, is looking to bring in even more of this fuel to Hawaii to help it better manage its fuel costs.

Last month, Hawaii Gas filed an application with the PUC to increase the volume of LNG shipments for its synthetic natural gas pipeline.

Regular deliveries of containerized LNG are expected to begin by late 2015.

Currently, the state’s only franchised gas utility is using the LNG as a backup fuel for its SNG operations.



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