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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, March 18, 2006

Shortage of propane ending

By Robbie Dingeman
Advertiser Staff Writer

Landmark Liliha Bakery closed since Wednesday and leaving customers craving coco puffs and other treats plans to open tomorrow as the first major sign that a statewide propane shortage appears to be over.

The bakery was among customers that have been notified that propane production has resumed. Yesterday, Chevron Hawaii spread the word, said officials with The Gas Co.

Steve Golden, The Gas Co. spokesman, said Chevron officials told them that propane would be available for pickup, beginning today.

Through conservation, Golden said, his company had been able to keep up a supply to about 39,000 propane customers statewide.

"All of our customers have had gas," he said.

Chevron spokesman Albert Chee declined to say how much propane the company was able to produce beginning yesterday. But he said the company is keeping The Gas Co. and O'ahu Gas Service informed about how their supply of propane is affected.

Liliha Bakery operations manager Chris Murai got the word yesterday that the eatery will be back to business as usual by tomorrow. Murai said that's because the propane tank will be filled up by The Gas Co. with the special permission of regular supplier O'ahu Gas Service.

"It's wonderful news," Murai said. The bakery/eatery will open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., close Monday as usual and then re-open Tuesday, she said.

On March 2, Chevron, The Gas Co. and Gov. Linda Lingle asked propane customers throughout the Islands to conserve after the Chevron refinery's propane-producing unit shut down temporarily.

Propane fuels gas grills, tiki torches, pool heaters and fireplaces. Lingle, Chevron and others had urged business and residential customers to conserve. Residential customers who receive their propane supply through underground lines were not affected, Golden said.

Reach Robbie Dingeman at rdingeman@honoluluadvertiser.com.