Categorized | Business

Big Island Carbon moving closer to completion


In Big Island Carbon’s latest newsletter, CEO Rick Vidgen reports:

The Kawaihae site is now regularly busy with construction on all aspects. We have appointed several new staff who are on-site with a temporary office in the Hamakua Mac Nut Plant next door. The plant manager and plant maintenance positions are filled.

Our new plant manager, Mike Washburn, was most recently Operations Manager for Alberto-Culver/Cosmetic Labs of America in Los Angeles. He has been in the manufacturing environment for more than 14 years and brings his ability to reduce operating costs while maximizing production along with experience as a problem solver and manager to BIC. Washburn obtained his Chemical Engineer degree from Ohio State. He is a diehard “Buckeye” fan.

Nathan Addicks obtained his Associate of Applied Science degree in Mechanical Technology from Texas State Technical College. He was most recently a machinist and lab technician for the Resonance Project Foundation in Holualoa. Previously, he spent 24 years at Schlumberger working in the oil industry.


The buildings will be completed first (be early April) with the offices and laboratory ready for use and the warehouse available for temporary storage. Technical construction will commence next week and activity here will build up as equipment arrives.

Thus far we have the kiln & cooler on site, the granulation system is on-site but still in it’s container, the char reactor is at the harbor to be delivered in a few days. In all there will be 30 containers coming over a period of time. The assembly of this ‘jig saw’ puzzle will be an interesting and challenging exercise.


Mike and Nathan are working on getting the more practical aspects of the project planned and executed including an employment manual, job descriptions, etc. and thus will lead to the hiring of employees — to be completed by July 1.

We have made one significant process change decision and are proceeding with this plan. Our original concept for Power Production became impractical as plans developed. Thus we have moved to the use of engine generator sets fueled by our biofuel mixed with diesel. This is a relatively new but proven approach to “green power” and we believe it offers us the maximum flexibility and most effective use of our biofuel resource.

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