By Howard Dicus - bio | email
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Repairs on a propane unit at the Chevron refinery in Kapolei continue into a third week, while propane suppliers ask customers to conserve.
Tesoro, which operates the state's other refinery, continues to make propane, while The Gas Co. has a shipment en route from the mainland.
"Repairs are actually a little ahead of schedule," said Al Chee, spokesman for Chevron Hawaii. "The rest of the refinery is in operation. Gasoline production is normal."
The Gas Co., which buys propane from both Chevron and Tesoro, has briefed its customers on the situation, asking them to conserve as a precaution, not because of any current shortage.
"We make our own synthetic natural gas and supplies of that are ample," said Stephanie Ackerman, a spokesman for The Gas Co.
Major hotels and restaurants on Oahu have all their usual gas supplies.
Amerigas, which owns Oahu Gas Service and Maui Gas Service, buys its propane from Chevron. Customers include small businesses that use propane to power portable cooking equipment for farmers markets and other field events. Most keep an extra tank on hand.
Propane retailers say their biggest concern is not that repairs will take long enough to produce a shortage, but that rumors and worries will cause customers to try to get more propane than they need, turning fear of a shortage into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Tesoro is briefing state officials and distributors on repair progress daily, Chee said. The shutdown occurred after torrential rains that caused serious problems for Hawaiian Electric and Hawaiian Telcom, but Chevron has said it does not believe the rain caused the shutdown. Chee said Chevron personnel are focused on restoring normal operation.
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