Propane shortage hits island

A late shipment of propane to a Big Island supplier resulted in several dispensers posting “no propane” signs this week and the fueling of rumors that residents wouldn’t be able to refill their tanks for weeks.

Hawaii Gas — one of three suppliers on the island along with AmeriGas and Alii Gas — confirmed this week it was experiencing a shortage due to “delays in the shipment from our supplier.” The shortage left “no propane” signs at Ace Hardware stores around the island along with other dispensers, and fueled rumors that residents wouldn’t be able to fill tanks for weeks.


“The next shipment is expected to arrive on the Big Island on Friday, Jan 20th,” said Kevin Nishimura, vice president of operations at Hawaii Gas, said Thursday. “The delay is also related to disruptions in the global energy supply chain, which are now having an impact on propane availability and logistics. As a result, Hawaii Gas has been working directly with propane dispensers on the Big Island and proactively managing deliveries.

“Emergency services, critical care facilities, public health and safety services, as well as utility customers, will be prioritized to receive an uninterrupted supply. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we manage this challenge together,” he continued.

Otto Tanacsos at Propane Station in Kona said a perfect storm hit Hawaii Gas.

“The ocean is roaring and Hawaii Gas imports from China, Singapore or wherever they can get the best deal,” he said. “I get mine from Oahu and use two suppliers. There have been some logistical problems to get the gas to the island, but I am still open and still filling. We live on an island, shame on them for running out of gas.”