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Navy's first alternative fueling station open in Hawaii

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PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii officially opened the first of three Ethanol 85 (E85) fueling stations planned for the Navy's fleet of flex-fuel vehicles at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) last month.

"The addition of this E85 fueling station to our fueling options directly addresses the energy mandates set forth by the Secretary of the Navy and the President," said Capt. John Coronado, commanding officer, NAVFAC Hawaii.

"We have over one thousand E85-capable vehicles at JBPHH that will be able to take full advantage of this station and the two others to be installed."

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has directed the Navy to reduce its consumption of petroleum by 50 percent before 2015, while the President's Executive Order 13514 calls for a 28 percent reduction in green house gases, such as carbon dioxide, by 2020.

Flex-fuel vehicles commonly use E85, an alternative fuel of 85 percent plant-based ethanol blended with 15 percent gasoline that performs as efficient as unleaded gasoline would in regular vehicles. Ethanol is environmentally friendly, produces less carbon dioxide emissions, and helps reduce Hawaii's dependence on foreign oil.

The U.S. Navy has opened the first E85 station at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The 10,000-gallon tank contains 85 percent plant-based ethanol blended with 15 percent gasoline which can be used in all flex-fuel vehicles. Two more Navy E85 stations are planned to open. Marine Corps Base, Hawaii has the only other E85 station in the state. Photo by Denise Emsley/U.S. Navy/Released

In September 2010, NAVFAC Engineering Service Center (ESC) awarded a $315,767 contract to the Honolulu office of Innovative Technical Solutions, Inc. (ITSI) to develop and construct a 10,000-gallon above ground fueling station adjacent to the existing government fueling station on Paul Hamilton Avenue, JBPHH. NAVFAC Hawaii assisted ESC in executing the project.

The contractor broke ground in April 2011 and completed all mechanical and electrical work July 15, 2011. Next, Space and Naval War Systems Command (SPAWAR) installed the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Fuel Master system, owners of the E85 fuel. After further adjustments, repairs, and final checks, the station became operational in March 2012. This means all government gas cardholders and their government-owned flex-fueled vehicles are now expected to fill up with E85.

"Our E85 station may not have the amenities of some commercial fueling stations; but it will provide alternative fuel for personnel at JBPHH," Coronado said. "All passenger carrying vehicles can pull in and fill up."

The Navy's E85 fueling station is the second of its kind in Hawaii to come online after one on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe opened in November 2010. Both are for government-use only. The Navy is currently evaluating other potential sites across the island.

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