The Gas Company in Hawaii aims to develop a full scale energy plant that transforms vegetable oil and animal fats into gas within the next three years.
The Honolulu-based company has built and launched a pilot facility at Campbell Industrial Park that converts non-food grade oil into hydrocarbons, unlike the company's existing facilities which rely on imported petroleum.
The President of the Gas Company, Jeffrey Kissel, says the project is part of the company's long-term goal to reduce its dependence on petroleum.
"This [the plant] is brand new, we just completed work on it, and it's just been commissioned, so it's in the start-up and testing phase - and once we determine what the optimum scale and size will be for our marketplace, we will build larger facilities. Our goal is to have about half of our production from the non-petroleum sources."
Mr Kissel says the plant is capable of processing nearly four million litres a year - enough to service three percent of the company's 70-thousand customers.