With a Propane Refinery Down, Hawaiian Supplier says “Conserve”

Like a rogue wave, a hiccup in the Hawaiian propane production has raised some concerns. (image: La Ley via flickr.com)

Hawaii has been in a propane pinch since Christmas Eve, when one of the state’s two LPG refining facilities shut down operations over concerns about a mechanical problem. Earlier this week, a state official told customers there were ample supplies, amid claims from the industry that propane was getting scarce.

But now, a major supplier in the state, The Gas Company, has asked residents to go easy on the gas, according to a report from today’s Hawaii News Now. The dealer is not worried about a legit shortage, just hedging against the kind of panic that might cause one, the story says.

Honolulu has played down the production delay, too. “Let’s not do a run on toilet paper. It’s really not necessary,” Ted Peck, an official with the state’s energy office, told the Honolulu Fox affiliate. Though he followed that up with the vague assurance that if a propane retailer was dry this week, it should have some gas “next week or so.”

Still, the outlook is good. Hawaii News Now says hotel and restaurants are well-stocked on propane. And despite the holidays, a spokesman for Chevron, which operates the refinery, says the repair work is ahead of schedule. In addition, the state’s other LPG refining facility, Tesoro, is functioning fine.

Curious endnote: The Aloha State burns more propane than Alaska.

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