Big Island carbon plant to be auctioned


A South Kohala factory is up for auction, before it ever was used for production.

Big Island Carbon’s Kawaihae plant was built through a combination of private financing and a $5 million federal stimulus loan. Company officials in 2012 filed for bankruptcy. Last month, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware approved the sealed-bid auction of the plant.

California-based Tiger Remarketing Service was awarded the contract to sell the factory, which was built to convert macadamia nut shells into activated carbon and has power generation capabilities.

Jeff Tanenbaum, president of Tiger Remarketing Service, said his company has fielded two to three dozen inquiries about the plant, of which 15 to 20 have requested access to documents with more specifics about the plant’s equipment and capabilities. A few parties have even viewed the property, he added.

“There are a variety of places where people can take interest,” Tanenbaum said Monday, adding that some companies find the activated carbon capabilities more intriguing, while others are interested for the power-generation aspects. “Different parties have different ideas what they can do.”

The sealed-bid auction runs through April 4.

Tanenbaum said there isn’t an expected amount for the facility to sell for.

“It’s too wide of a range, in terms of dollars invested and value to an interested party,” he added.

Big Island Carbon filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in November 2012. At the time, court documents indicated the company owed $5 million to Texas-based Synergy Bank and a Denham Capital holding company for $11.4 million. Both companies were secured creditors. Other creditors owed $395,684 in unsecured claims include $54,327 to Wesley Segawa & Associates of Hilo, $47,759 to Noguchi & Associates of Honolulu, $14,479 to Hamakua Mac Nut Co., $11,375 to Allied Machinery of Waipahu and $10,800 to Tinguely Development of Kailua-Kona.

The company also owed the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, from which it leased the 4-acre factory site, about $150,000 as of the November 2012 bankruptcy filing.

Among $22,690,286 in assets, the company listed $371,598 in mac nut shells and $5,350 in accounts receivable from Worm Works Hawaii.

More details about the sale, and how to contact Tanenbaum, are available at auctions.tigergroupllc.com/cgi-bin/mndetails.cgi?tigergrp106.

Email Erin Miller at emiller@westhawaiitoday.com.

 

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