Propane Delivery Challenges Hit Hawaii Island

Hawaii Island Faces Propane Supply Crunch

Hawaii Gas recently acknowledged a temporary interruption in propane deliveries on Hawaii Island, impacting various businesses and residents. The island, reliant on propane for essential services such as hospitals and restaurants and for many residents off the electrical grid, is feeling the pinch of this supply shortfall.

Unexpectedly running low on propane, The Fish and The Hog, a popular Waimea restaurant, faced a critical situation. “It was New Year’s Eve, and our restaurant was packed. We had people waiting for two hours. Suddenly, in the middle of service, we ran out of gas,” recalled Lisa Vann, the restaurant’s owner. The shortage forced the barbecue restaurant, stocked with large quantities of meats and fish, to close three hours early, disappointing customers.

Thankfully, Hawaii Gas stepped in to provide a temporary four-day propane supply, preventing staff layoffs for the 45 employees at Vann’s restaurant.

Similarly, in Hilo, Kai Store’s propane tank ran dry just before the New Year’s weekend, a peak time for propane demand. “Our customers, many needing propane for their homes and businesses, have been calling non-stop,” shared owner Paul Kai, highlighting the increased reliance on propane for off-grid living on the island.

While Hawaii Gas did not specify the cause of the delivery delay, they issued a statement explaining that deliveries to some wholesale customers have been reduced.

This measure ensures that critical services such as emergency, healthcare, and public safety maintain an uninterrupted propane supply. In some cases, customers like The Fish and The Hog receive partial refills to manage the shortage.

“We’re considering closing early to conserve gas until the supply stabilizes,” said Vann, concerned about the ongoing situation.

This incident marks at least the third propane shortage on Hawaii Island in the past year, with a previous interruption occurring last summer due to a Teamsters strike, leaving customers without gas for two weeks. The recurring shortages underscore the island’s vulnerability in propane supply and the need for more robust solutions to ensure consistent availability.

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