Unable to recover from an adverse court decision earlier this year, the company that ran the Hawaii Superferry filed for bankruptcy Saturday.
The ferry was forced to cease operations in March, after the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that 2007 state legislation allowing the ferry to run while an environmental assessment was conducted violated the state constitution.
The high court in May refused to grant reconsideration of its decision, leading the ferry company to file for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, according to published reports, which said that the Superferry operation listed between $1 million and $10 million in assets and $50 million to $100 million in debts.
Officials with the ferry company said they would use the bankruptcy process to liquidate the operation. The privately financed and operated ferry service linked Maui and Oahu between 2007 and March.
The state government supported the project through the issuance of $40 million of bonds to upgrade harbor facilities to accommodate the ferry.
The bonds were to be repaid using harbor user fees, primarily from the ferry itself, but the debt was sold as part of a general obligation bond issue backed with the full faith and credit of the state.
Officials for the company say they were unsuccessful in their short-term objective of chartering the two high-speed ferries.