Sealed Bid Offering - Waimea, HI

In the Bankruptcy Matter of...
Big Island Carbon

Biomass Power Plant
and Activated Carbon Processing Facility

Turnkey Opportunity - Situated on the Big Island of Hawaii, this 3 Year Old Facility Converts Macadamia Nut Shells into Activated Carbon and is Equipped with Power Generation Capabilities.


Friday, April 4


5:00pm (PT)


61-3277 Maluokalani Street
Waimea, HI 96743

Call to Schedule an Appointment


By order of the US bankruptcy court Tiger Remarketing Services and Aaron Equipment has been engaged to conduct an expedited sale of the assets of Big Island Carbon, Inc. and its affiliates (“BIC”).

The turnkey opportunity will be sold through a competitive bid process within sale procedures to be established in the case.

The assets available include a biomass power plant and activated carbon processing facility. The sponsor and senior lender invested over $50 million in the development and construction of the plant including over $30 million in equipment at installed cost.

Facility Overview

The plant is located on old lava terrain at Kawaihae on the west side of the Big Island of Hawai’i, 35 miles north of Kailua-Kona. Average annual rainfall in the area is 10 inches per year.

- The site is an industrial zoned area (the Kaie Hana Industrial Park) leased from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

- The facility has received all required construction and operating permits, including the Title V air permit for the power plant, which was issued in September 2011. BIC has all required operating permits.

- Site has ready access to major (circle island) highway and port that facilitates transportation of feedstock “in” and product “out” to the mainland at a cost to a Los Angeles, CA warehouse of < 10 cents per lb. The site is less than one mile from the Kawaihae Port, with a fuel depot and shipping terminal. There are no traffic issues.

- The plant occupies approximately 4 acres upon a 12.9 acre property.

Opportunity Highlights

- Experienced Management Team and Engineers Available
- Turnkey facility available at distressed asset value
- All Assets Purchased Free and Clear through the US Bankruptcy court
- Favorable Long Term Lease with the State of Hawai’i
- Facility serves the fast growing clean energy and activated carbon markets, amongst others
- Abundant low cost macadamia nut shell feedstock available

Cleaning, Crushing and Sizing of Macadamia Nut Shell

Shell is passed through a vibrating screen to eliminate the majority of the extraneous contaminant matter associated with any biomass feedstock; additional steps further remove smaller contaminants. ⁃ The shell material is then directed into a hammer mill for crushing to the desired range, with additional sizing screens used to divert oversize material back through the hammer mill, as needed. ⁃ The sized material passes into a large silo with a storage capacity of about 60 tons of crushed shell. ⁃ At all stages of process, dust is captured and pneumatically conveyed to a dust collection system.

Charring of Crushed Macadamia Nut Shell

Crushed shell from the storage silo is gravity fed through a weigh belt system, bucket elevator, and screw conveyor to the top of the char reactor. ⁃ The shell progressively moves through the reactor (moving bed) into which hot nitrogen and steam are injected through sparge tubes directly into the shell bed. The temperature of the shell is progressively raised to the target level necessary for carbonization of the shell. ⁃ The product char is conveyed to the char bin; the reactor off-gas, comprising nitrogen, steam, and volatile organics, is passed through a cyclone to knock out the majority of carbon fines and then through condensers to recover the pyrolysis oil by-product; a blower passes the remaining volatile reactor off-gas to a thermal oxidizer to incinerate the organics before discharge to the atmosphere. ⁃ The pyrolysis oil is filtered to remove residual carbon fines and stored in a process tank ready for use as a fuel oil for the power generation plant.

Activation of Macadamia Nutshell Char

The activation of the char is the key step in the overall production process. High temperature steam is used as a gasification agent to “burn-away” carbon to create pores in the remaining carbon that are literally atomic dimensions in width; e.g., < 2nm, or less than 80 billionths of an inch. ⁃ Char from the char bin is conveyed via a weigh belt and bucket elevator to the feed end of the activation kiln. The char moves through the rotating kiln, where it is subjected to high temperatures in excess of 1500°F (815°C) in the presence of steam. Amongst other process parameters, the rates of char and steam flow are maintained at the levels necessary to obtain the target properties in the AC product. ⁃ The hot carbon is passed through a rotocooler to reduce the temperature to near ambient, following which it is conveyed to the sizing plant for grinding and classification to the desired particle size ranges. ⁃ The off gas from the kiln is passed through a cyclone to knock out carbon fines, then through multiple heat exchangers to pre-heat the nitrogen and steam flows to the char reactor, following which it is directed to the thermal oxidizer to combust the carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and VOCs before discharge of the effluent gas stream to the atmosphere.

Power Generation Facility

The power portion of the facility provides both electric power and process steam for the process plant. Power is provided by 2 sources: a diesel generator and a steam turbine generator, both operating at 480 volts. A small utility service supplies back-up power and power to the administration building; all other power is provided via the power plant. All power generating equipment is monitored and controlled from a central control room.

Diesel Generator

The diesel generator is a 1,825 kW Cummins reciprocating diesel engine generator set. The system includes an SCR for NOx reduction and a heat recovery steam generator to utilize the hot exhaust gas and make process steam.

Steam Boiler and Turbine

Steam is produced in a Cleaver Brooks D style package boiler. The boiler is rated to produce 22,000 lb/hr of 600 psig 640°F superheated steam. The boiler provides steam to both the turbine and process facility. Total normal steam flow is currently designed for approximately 15,000 lb/hr with 12,500 lb/hr going to the steam turbine and 2,500 lb/hr going to the process. Process steam is not returned. ⁃ The steam turbine, manufactured by Elliott Ebara, was previously installed at a West Virginia facility, but was never commissioned. The steam turbine operates at 5,620 rpm and is connected to a 1800 RPM, 480 volt generator via a gear reducer. The unit operates at 500 psig, 640°F main steam with no extraction steam. Although the unit is rated at 2,000 kW at a steam flow of 24,000 lb/hr, the current installation main steam flow is limited to 12,450 lb/hr and approximately 1,100 kW. The unit has a top discharge exhaust operating at 2“ Hg and exiting to a package surface condenser, returning the condensate to the deaerator. ⁃ The surface condenser was manufactured by the Ambassador Heat Transfer Company, and incorporates two integral redundant condensate pumps. It is designed for 12,450 lb/hr at 2” Hg. The unit has a carbon steel shell with 304 stainless tubes.

Fuel Supply

The fuel for the steam boiler comes from several sources. The main source is pyrolysis-oil produced in the process plant reactor. The boiler also burns the reactor and kiln off gases. The unit will also fire a small stream of diesel fuel to ensure a constant furnace temperature. The boiler is lit with a propane ignitor. ⁃ There is a 12,000 gallon diesel storage tank and a 30,000 gallon propane tank onsite. The facility has a 4,000 gallon bio-oil storage tank connected to the boiler fuel supply. There is also storage for an additional 42,000 gallons of pyrolysis oil onsite. ⁃ Boiler water chemistry is controlled by a small chemical injection system provided by ECOLAB/NALCO. Boiler chemistry is monitored via a continuous sample panel.

Water Treatment

Raw Water Raw water is provided by a 130 foot deep well via a submersible pump. The well pump capacity is 150 gpm. Raw water is pumped to the first pass reverse osmosis unit. This first pass water is used as make up to the cooling tower and as feed to a smaller second pass reverse osmosis unit that generates boiler make-up water. The first pass system is made-up of 4 arrays, three of which are required for normal full load operation. The normal product flow out of the first pass RO train is approximately 90 gpm. The second pass RO product flow is approximately 25 gpm.

Feed Water Feed water for the boiler is deaerated in an Industrial Steam spray tray deaerator with integral redundant boiler feed pumps. The deaerator design operating pressure is 5 psig at a discharge flow of 20,500 lb/hr. The deaerator processes condensate from the steam turbine/condenser and condensate makeup from the condensate storage tank. The boiler feed pumps also supply feedwater to the diesel generator HRSG. The boiler is equipped with a blowdown tank to safely cool and process waste water from the steam system. ⁃ Boiler water chemistry is controlled by a small chemical injection system provided by ECOLAB/NALCO. Boiler chemistry is monitored via a continuous sample panel.

Cooling Water Cooling water for the condenser and auxiliary equipment is provided by a 3000 gpm EVAPCO cooling tower. The tower is designed to cool 97.5 °F hot water to 85°F. It is a 304 stainless steel tower with PVC fill. There are two 100% circulating water pumps located under the tower. The tower is enclosed and is equipped with slip stream sand filter to remove particulate from the water. Water chemistry is controlled by a chemical injection system. The cooling tower provides cooling water for the power plant auxiliary equipment and the process facility auxiliary equipment

Water Storage There is a 10,000 gallon process water storage tank and a 10,000 gallon condensate make-up storage tank to provide surge capacity for the water system. The plant’s reserve water capacity will last 8-12 hours if the well fails but backup water can be delivered by tanker truck from Waimea, if needed

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Instructions coming soon...

Terms and conditions coming soon...

Sale Partner

In Cooperation with
Aaron Equipment Company, Inc.

Contact Information

Tiger Commercial & Industrial

340 N. Westlake Blvd.

Westlake Village CA 91362


800-758-TIGER (8443)


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