A group of lawyers and marketing professionals had a tough nut to crack: how drum up interest in an abandoned power plant in Hawaii that can turn macadamia shells into energy.
The lawyers are hoping that a multimillion-dollar offer comes in before today’s bid deadline after months of looking for someone who might want the plant.
The facility, which ran out of money before it could fully go into operation, was designed to make a carbon product that can, for example, fill the inside of hybrid car batteries. The carbon product can be used to make a filter—like the one attached to a kitchen faucet—that chemical and pharmaceutical companies use.
The plant has, at various times, attracted interest from entrepreneurs, hedge funds, major chemical companies and universities with biofuel programs, said Jeffrey Testa, a lawyer at McCarter & English law firm who has helped with the sales process. (The plant, shown here, can make a biofuel that can help power its own operations.)
The team even reached out to big candy makers—the kind that might have a couple tons of macadamia nut shells lying around—to see if they wanted a way “to turn waste product into a revenue source,” he said.
The project’s original developer, backed by a Boston private equity firm, put the facility into bankruptcy in November 2012, leading Mr. Testa’s firm and others to look for buyers.