Seventh lien filed against Hu Honua


A wood-burning power plant under construction in Pepeekeo has been hit with a seventh court filing claiming unpaid bills.

Honolulu attorneys Eric Tsugawa and Leila Rothwell Sullivan filed a mechanics’ and materialmans’ lien request Feb. 14 in Hilo Circuit Court on behalf of T Bailey Inc., a Washington state corporation, claiming Hu Honua Bioenergy LLC owes it $399,424.75, plus interest, attorney fees and court costs.

Also named as defendants are: Maukaloa Farms LLC, which leases the 25-acre former Hilo Coast Processing Co. site to Hu Honua; Colonial Bank, an Alabama financial institution holding a $17 million mortgage taken by Maukaloa Farms; and Island Bioenergy LLC and NIV LLC, both Delaware-registered limited liability companies, the filing states might have an interest in the property because of the leasehold mortgage.

A hearing is scheduled for 8 a.m. March 20 before Judge Greg Nakamura.

According to the filing, T Bailey entered into a contract with Hu Honua to build three tanks with the total price of materials and construction at $1,141,355. According to an attached purchase order, those tanks include a biodiesel storage tank at a cost of $502,074, a water tank for fighting fires at a cost of $399,881, and a demineralization water storage tank at a cost of $239,400.

“To date, lienor has furnished labor and/or materials under the purchase order as described and billed … in the amount of $399,474,25,” the filing states. T Bailey claims Hu Honua has not made any payments to date.

Six of the seven lien applications naming Hu Honua are still active. The largest was filed by general contractor Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. of Honolulu, which claims the bioenergy company owes more than $35 million in unpaid bills. The others were filed by subcontractors and suppliers.

Gary Yokoyama’s Hawaiian Dredging’s vice president and general counsel told the Tribune-Herald on Feb. 3 his company was “demobilizing from the site.” Three days later, Hu Honua announced in a written statement Performance Mechanical Inc. of Pittsburg, Calif., took over as general contractor for the 21.5-megawatt plant under construction.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

 

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