SMA Basalt Feasibility Study in the News

As reported in the local press[1], SMA recently completed a feasibility study on the manufacturing of Continuous Basalt Fiber (CBF) on the island of Hawaiʻi for the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES)[2] to determine whether such a venture could be profitable and benefit the local economy.

PISCES has been working with Hawaiian basalt to create novel materials for sustainable products on Earth and in space. Hawaiʻi’s basalt meets the specific chemical profile needed to manufacture CBF, a material similar to fiberglass and carbon-fiber that has resistance to corrosion and heat, and high tensile strength. CBF manufacturing is valued at around $100 million globally and is expected to double in the next decade.

To complete the study, our team of experienced in-house consultants and analysts used our established Strategy Cascade and Making Winning Choices processes, complemented by subject matter experts and external partners representing basalt fiber and composite science, the design, construction, and operations & maintenance (O&M) of basalt fiber manufacturing plants, and the local regulations for the County of Hawaiʻi.

Our comprehensive report shows:

  • The current global market demand for CBF
  • Manufacturing capabilities throughout the world
  • The average market price for CBF products
  • The estimated cost to build and operate a CBF plant in Hawaiʻi County
  • A business model for investment in creating and operating a CBF facility
  • The estimated cost comparison between CBF manufactured in Hawaiʻi and other places in the world
  • The potential number of jobs and wages a facility would provide

You can obtain a copy of the study from PISCES at dbedt.pisces@hawaii.gov

[1] Gomes, Andrew (2018, December 24). Lava rock could lay foundation for basalt industry. Honolulu Star Advertiser. Available from http://www.staradvertiser.com/2018/12/24/hawaii-news/lava-rock-could-lay-foundation-for-basalt-industry/

[2] Hawaiʻi Basalt Fiber Market Feasibility Study Completed. (2018, December 7). Retrieved from http://www.pacificspacecenter.com/basalt-fiber-market-study-in-hawaii-completed/

Published on December 26, 2018 by

Dick Eassom, CF APMP Fellow