PISCES Seeks Proposals for Feasibility Study on Basalt Fiber Manufacturing in Hawaii

Posted on Dec 12, 2017 in News

Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems
For Immediate Release: December 12, 2017

A Successful Operation Could Profit from a $100 Million Industry

HILO—The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) — a state-funded aerospace center located in Hilo, Hawaii — is seeking a qualified firm to conduct a comprehensive market feasibility study. The goal of the research is to determine whether a basalt fiber manufacturing facility in the County of Hawaii will benefit the local economy.

PISCES has issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) as of Dec. 12, 2017, to accept offers from organizations interested in conducting the feasibility study.

The RFP, along with submission guidelines and deadlines are available to view online at www.pacificspacecenter.com/rfp.

The global basalt fiber manufacturing industry is currently valued at $100 million and is expected to grow. A successful operation in Hawaii would create new manufacturing jobs, economic growth and business opportunities, as well as a sustainable new construction material with a wide variety of uses.

PISCES has been researching Hawaii Island’s volcanic basalt as a feedstock for in-situ resource utilization for space exploration, and has confirmed that basalt fines found in local quarries meet the specifications necessary to produce basalt fiber.

Though lesser known, basalt fiber has similar applications to glass and carbon-based fiber products but is considered superior in several aspects: corrosion and abrasion resistance, thermal stability, heat insulation, vibration and chemical resistance. Basalt fiber can replace nearly all applications using asbestos. It can also be used to make structural mesh, durable fabric, insulating material, hydroponic growth media, basalt rebar and as an aggregate to reinforce concrete.

The deadline for completed proposals received via email as listed in the RFP is no later than noon (HST) on Jan. 22, 2018.

For questions about the RFP, contact PISCES Administrative Specialist Polly Roth at pacificspacecenter@gmail.com or call (808) 935‑8270.

The RFP is being issued by the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii (RCUH).

PISCES is a state-funded Hawaii aerospace center under the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT). The Hilo-based agency is working to position the state as a leader in space exploration while developing sustainable products and technologies that benefit the Islands. Through Applied Research, Workforce Development, and Long-Term Business and Economic Development, PISCES provides hands-on experience to Hawaii’s future scientists and engineers, preparing them to meet the demands of a highly competitive industry while improving the local economy through job diversification, innovative products and new industries.

About DBEDT (Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism)
DBEDT is Hawaii’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawaii’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation sector job growth.

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Media Contacts:

Chris Yoakum
Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems
Phone: (808) 935-8270
Mobile: (808) 333-6905
Website: pisces.hawaii.gov

Christine Hirasa
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
Phone: (808) 587-9006
Mobile: (808) 286-9017
Website: dbedt.hawaii.gov