Shenzhen, China – In a ceremony in Shenzhen on Sunday October 16, Pacific Biodiesel, Inc., a Maui-based renewable fuels company, was named one of the eight recipients of the BlueSky Award 2005, a program sponsored by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the International Technology Promotion Center for Sustainable Development in Shenzen. The BlueSky Award is a not-for-profit program for encouraging the utilization of renewable energy in developing countries worldwide. PB was chosen from the top 20 candidates who were invited from a slate of 127 applicants to present at the BlueSky Award proceedings as well as exhibit at the 2005 China High Tech Fair, the largest technology expo in China . The 20 renewable energy projects were judged by an international panel of 10 experts, none of whom were American.
Other BlueSky Award winners included a Hydrodynamic Screw System from Germany, Elaboration of Energy Efficient Solar Greenhouse from Russia, Development of Lipofuel from Brazil, Landfill Gas from Canada, and three projects from China; Sweet Sorghum Breeding and Energy Conversion, Biomass Gasification Electricity Generation, and Small Hydropower Electromechanical Technology.
PB Marketing and Communications Director Kelly King presented on the community-based application of the company’s biodiesel production business while Process Technology Engineer Amanda Stewart gave an overview of the technology. According to King, “All the experts were very receptive to our process of recycling used cooking oil into biodiesel. Most of them could see the application as beneficial to China as well as their own countries.”
King noted that it was especially interesting to have been urged by the German expert to bring PB’s concept to his country. “Even though Germany had been producing biodiesel years before we started, their primary feedstock is rapeseed oil so the idea of utilizing a waste oil feedstock seems new to them,” King added. “She also stated that the exhibit at the China High Tech Fair yielded much interest by Chinese businesses and that there is definitely a market and a need for this technology there as evidenced by the fuel shortages and the very polluted sky of Shenzhen City.”
Pacific Biodiesel has improved and adapted the technology and focused on small, community-based fuel production. “In this way, communities benefit environmentally and economically,” says PB President Robert King. “This is ultimately a whole different philosophy from the large, corporate petroleum oil structure.”
Pacific Biodiesel has built a total of six biodiesel plants throughout Japan and the U.S. which utilize a variety of feedstocks. Their newest project is a joint venture with Willie Nelson and friends at Carl’s Corner, Texas . Coincidentally, this new plant will be erected on the corner of Cornelius Road and E. Blue Sky Avenue.
The Maui biodiesel processing company, begun in 1996, is recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Biodiesel Board as an industry pioneer, having opened the first public retail biodiesel pump in the U.S. Last year the Oahu biodiesel plant garnered the 2004 ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) Award for Pacific Biodiesel. The U.S. biodiesel industry has since burgeoned in this country, growing at an annual rate of 200-300 percent over the past three years.
Part of the focus of Pacific Biodiesel’s China trip, according to King, was to bring back some impression of the market potential for PB’s technology. “The potential is great,” she said, “but there has also recently been tremendous demand for our technology in the U.S. Our experience in China will certainly stir a discussion about the value of funding additional resources to address the interest abroad.”
“Regardless of our future plans in China,” King concluded, “winning the United Nations Industrial Development Organization’s BlueSky Award was not only thrilling, it brings great stature to our little Maui company. To be on equal status with what UNIDO considers the top eight renewable energy technology applications in the world is an honor and a huge satisfaction, which we owe to years of hard work and commitment by our dedicated employees as well as the support of our community. Amanda and I could not have been more pleased to have accomplished what we traveled so far to do!”
King and Stewart return to Maui on Wednesday, October 19. King will give an encore performance of her China presentation at the Rotary Club of Kihei-Wailea on December 7, 2005.
Submitted by Kelly King
Director of Marketing and Communications
For more information on biodiesel, call Kelly King at 808-283-1954