An new analysis of the economic impact of NELHA’s Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park at Keahole Point on Hawaii Island finds that the total economic impact of the park has surged by 40 percent between 2010 and 2013.

The Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawaii (UHERO) report says the benefit to the greater Hawaii economy was $123 million dollars in 2013.

“This data reflects pent-up demand from the great recession and a strong focus on investor relations that is leading to more confidence by private sector in making improvements or expansion to existing projects as well as new ventures,” John DeLong, chairman of the NELHA Board of Directors, said in a press release. “We knew that there was a significant amount of investment over the past few years and we are frankly both surprised and delighted that the impact has increased to this extent.”

NELHA screen shot

Screen shot.


NELHA, which stands for the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority, is an energy and ocean technology park located just south of the Kona airport.

Clients include Cyanotech, makers of Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica; Makai Ocean Engineering, which is involved with ocean thermal energy conversion and submarine cable software; and Big Island Abalone Corporation, which produces Kona Abalone, a premium stock of Ezo (Japanese Northern) abalone.

UHERO says that expenditures from the businesses at NELHA totaled $99 million dollars, of which about $72 million were paid to Hawaii entities in 2013.

State tax revenue generated by NELHA sales grew to $5 million dollars in 2013. As well, the analysis found NELHA businesses employ hundreds of people and that expenditures contributed to a total of 617 jobs in the larger Hawaii economy in 2013.

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