Sugar trucks set to rollon highway to Lihu’e mill

LIHU’E — Amfac Sugar Kaua’i trucks will begin moving cane from the Westside to

the Lihu’e mill along Kaumuali’i Highway next week.

The company, in a move

to save money, has closed the former Kekaha Sugar mill.

Former mill workers

were offered other positions in the company, and the decision to truck the cane

from the Westside to Lihu’e means more drivers are needed, creating the new


In fact, the closure of the mill created so many jobs for truck

drivers that the plantation couldn’t fill them all and will have to contract

with a local trucking company to help with the hauling, said Lyle Tabata,

manager of Amfac Sugar Kaua’i.

Schedules for times when the trucks will be

rolling down the highway depend on how harvesting operations progress, and

should become more clear within the next few weeks, he said.

In another

matter, Tabata said the main Lihu’e generator, expected to come back on line

early next month after major repairs, will not be ready as expected.


coils to replace the worn ones were to leave Houston for Honolulu last night,

but are too large to fit onto any aircraft which can land at Lihu’e


So, they’ll have to be barged from Honolulu to Nawiliwili, he


A 1950s-era generator has been brought on line, and has reduced

by half the amount of power Amfac has had to buy from Kaua’i Electric.


four megawatt unit produces only 2,600 kilowatts of power, “but, nevertheless,

it makes up for 50 percent of what we have to buy,” Tabata said.


plantation as a result of its main generator being down was turned from a

supplier of surplus electricity to KE to a major purchaser of power from


The old generator being on line also means Amfac can resume burning

bagasse to generate steam to power the generator.

The recent rains have

slowed harvesting efforts from the former Lihu’e Plantation fields, so the

amounts of bagasse have been reduced as well.

“We were trying to be

community-minded, so we delayed harvesting Hanama’ulu (field) one, by the

traffic light over there (Ahukini Road at Kuhio Highway) until we get better


If they harvested that field during wet weather, there would be

lots of mud at that busy intersection. So they waited for drier weather, he



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.