Sunday, March 9, 2008

HI Superferry: "Hardly Green Mode of Travel"

The following is a nice letter to the editor of today's Maui News. The writer, Kenny Hultquist, asks at the end, "Anybody miss the Alakai?" No, Kenny, we don't, not here on Maui, never was much ridership originating from here anyway. Really believe HSF under another name should try to move to Puget Sound. See my comments below. Here is Kenny's letter to the editor:

"Superferry is hardly green mode of travel"
POSTED: March 9, 2008

"Quote said on Feb. 25: 'We are completely dependent on foreign governments for our energy security for economic survival. Fact is, we are the most energy-insecure state in America . . . envision a new way to maintain value . . . other than just burning oil.'

Who said that and where?

Gov. Linda Lingle at the National Governors Association annual meeting [recently].

Superferry Alakai uses 6,942 gallons of marine diesel per trip, 13,900 round trip, 97,300 gallons a week, 417,000 gallons monthly. Three hundred sixty-five round trips from Oahu to Maui use over 5 million gallons, which at $3.50 per gallon equals $17,500,000 annually.

When Alakai says fill’er up, she means it; 56,800 gallons is just shy of $200,000. And they wanted to add a second trip?

Lingle made the decision allowing Hawaii Superferry to operate, no input from J. Q. Public. This is an awesome attempt to make Hawaii energy independent. Can she sail on sugar cane, pineapple juice or pina coladas?

Anyone besides myself see the hypocrisy in her NGA statement?

Spin it any way you like, $40 million for barges and $650,000 weekly operating costs are huge. Two weeks lost to high seas, and nine more for drydock is $7,200,000 minimum, minus fuel, plus landing barge and drydock repair costs.

Did Hawaii Superferry President and Chief Executive John Garibaldi perjure himself when he insisted in Maui court in October that if Hawaii Superferry didn’t start sailing soon it would go bankrupt? Where is all this cash coming from, a personal loan from Lingle?

Thankfully, we’re not paying $5,000 daily tugboat fees, another $315,000.

Anybody miss the Alakai?"

Kenny Hultquist

Noticed in this weekend's Wall Street Journal that diesel fuel on the mainland is $3.12 to $3.25 per gallon compared to a year ago of $1.85 a gallon. Kenny's $3.50 a gallon above is useful, but also looking at what the price of marine diesel fuel was a year ago indicates that HSF's financial prospects have no doubt changed in the past year. I will say it again, a vessel with 4 engines like this one operates optimally around the world on one-way transits of 30 to 70 miles, beyond that the fuel expense makes it unrealistic. Here in Hawaii the applicable transits are 105 miles. In the Puget Sound the transits are 20 miles or less.

Aloha, Brad

No comments: