Maui sugar plantation still looking for biofuel crop

Maui sugar plantation still looking for biofuel crop

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - Hawaii's last sugar cane plantation wants to transition to growing plants for energy.

But it hasn't found another crop that grows as well as sugar cane in a variety of soils or one that can stand up to Maui's strong winds.

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. General Manager Rick Volner told The Maui News in an email the company has extensively evaluated biofuels.

He says even if the company found an alternative crop, the technology to convert plant materials into energy on a commercial scale still hasn't been developed.

Volner says the company will continue to test the viability of other crops.

HC&S grows sugar cane on 36,000 acres in central Maui. It currently produces 150,000 to 200,000 tons of raw sugar and more than 60,000 tons of molasses each year.

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