Haynes and Boone Advises in $73 Million Construction Loan for Hawaiian Biomass Facility Construction


A team of Haynes and Boone, LLP attorneys advised Deutsche Bank in arranging a loan to fund construction of a $73 million, 7.5-megawatt (net) biomass-to-energy facility near Koloa on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i that will sell its output to Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC).

The loan will be taken out at completion by a loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service.

The plant will be owned by the Green Energy Team LLC and designed by Standardkessel Baumgarte Contracting GmbH of Germany as a state-of-the-art facility burning woodchips from trees grown and harvested on Kaua’i. The facility will be the first “closed loop biomass” facility in the U.S., meaning that the facility will grow and produce all of its own fuel feedstock on dedicated lands owned or controlled by it. Construction of the facility is scheduled to begin soon, and the plant is scheduled to be operational in 2014.

Green Energy is owned by SBC Energy Hawaii, Inc., (49 percent), Green Energy Hawaii, LLC (49 percent) and Expand B.V. (2 percent). SBC owns 49 percent of SBC Energy Hawaii, and Standardkessel Baumgarte is a significant shareholder in an equity partner of Green Energy.

The Haynes and Boone team was led by Washington, D.C., Partner Arthur Cohen, Washington Associate Maryam Khosharay and New York Associate Chris Perez. It also included Washington partners Herb Glaser, Ken rel="noopener noreferrer" Hurwitz and Jeff Wolfson; Washington Associate rel="noopener noreferrer" Lauren Perotti; New York of counsels Sam Lichtman and Brian Sung, rel="noopener noreferrer" associates Irina Marinescu and Ariel Zell; Houston partners Theresa rel="noopener noreferrer" Einhorn and Bob Ladd, associates Ken Adams, Kendall rel="noopener noreferrer" Hollrah, Tammi Niven and Brent Shultz; and Austin Partner Jeff Civins and Of Counsel James Braddock.

The plant will generate enough electricity to power 8,500 homes, replacing about 3.7 million gallons of imported oil annually.

The project is anticipated to create 200 construction jobs and 39 permanent operating jobs as well as work for local subcontractors and service providers.

Green Energy Team LLC was founded on Kaua’i in 2005 to develop the biomass-to-energy project. KIUC is a member-owned cooperative serving 33,000 customers on the island of Kaua’i. Formed in 2002 and governed by a nine-member, elected board of directors, KIUC is one of 930 electric co-ops serving more than 36 million members in 47 states.

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