Big Island Carbon, LLC have been advised its custom-built kiln that was in transit from Concordia, Kansas to the West Coast for shipping to Hawaii was damaged when another truck rear-ended the low-boy trailer on which it was traveling.
“Twelve ceramic heating panels were broken,” said company CEO Rick Vidgen. “They have been reordered but have to be custom made, cured and set back in to place in the kiln. We estimate a set back of between eight and 10 weeks with the kiln now arriving at Kawaihae Harbor in November.”
Vidgen says while the damage is covered by insurance, it is nonetheless an unexpected and unfortunate delay.
Big Island Carbon had hoped to begin job training in October and is working with the Department of Hawaiian Homelands to notify nearby residents of future job opportunities.
“Our goal is to become a community-based employer,” Vidgen said. “While the issue of the damaged kiln is a setback, we hope to resume our plans to begin hiring and job training as soon as the kiln arrives sometime in November.”
Big Island Carbon is building a $20 million plant on four acres of land in the Kaie Hana Industrial Park at Kawaihae on the Big Island ’s leeward coast. The land is leased from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.
BIC will convert feedstock (macadamia nut shells) produced on island into Granular Activated Carbon (GAC), a valuable product for sale in national and international markets to pharmaceutical, environmental, and other industries. A significant quantity of biofuel, a by-product of the process, will be sold for use on the island or used in the process to produce power.