HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii's largest oil refinery is up for sale. Tesoro Corporation is selling the Kapolei facility, 32 gas stations in Hawaii and other equipment. The refinery can process up to 94,000 barrels of crude oil a day.
The company bought the facility in 1998, but now after extensive analysis, Tesoro Corporation is choosing to focus on the mid-continent and West Coast. Tesoro Hawaii has roughly 550 employees.
"The company has found that the strategic value of this particular facility is no longer in alignment with the rest of the focus of the company," said Lance Tanaka, manager of government and public affairs for Tesoro Hawaii.
Tesoro Corporation announced a projected fourth-quarter loss last week. The Hawaii market has also been tough.
"It has been a challenging market. I think that's probably due to the high cost of crude oil that we must bring in and the high cost of energy to run the facility," said Tanaka.
Tesoro's refinery produces gasoline, diesel, asphalt, jet fuel and ship fuel. Pipelines from the facility supply terminals at the Honolulu Airport, Honolulu Harbor and military installations.
Governor Neil Abercrombie issued this statement: "We will work with Tesoro and all key players, including the Pacific Command and the Congressional Delegation, in power and fuel production and distribution to ensure continuity of resources is provided during and after this sale."
Tanaka said drivers filling up a Tesoro Hawaii pumps shouldn't notice much of an impact.
"We really don't see any difference. We expect it to be transparent," Tanaka said.
"There is nothing in this announcement that would indicate any risk whatsoever to supply, to price, in itself," said former gas station owner Bill Green.
Green said news of the sale shouldn't make people panic.
"I think any time you are potentially going to lose a supplier of a major, major product, it's newsworthy. The risk of losing that supplier, I think, is minimal," Green said.
"We're going to honor all of our commitments. We're going to deliver on what our contractual agreements are. We'll continue to pay our bills. We'll continue to invest in our community," said Tanaka.
Tanaka said the earliest the sale could likely happen is the second half of this year.
Chevron owns the only other oil refinery in Hawaii.