Troubled Seattle-based biofuel producer Imperium Renewables has closed its Hawaii office and laid off two staff members there, company spokesman John Williams confirmed Wednesday.

The news, which Pacific Business News first reported Tuesday, is the latest in a series of layoffs at the troubled company (see The Week: Tesla, Imperium Reduce Staff and this Seattle Post-Intelligencer story).

The office closure raises further doubt about whether Imperium is going to build the 100-million-gallon-per-year biodiesel plant planned for Honolulu.

In October, Imperium said the plant, intended to produce fuel for a Hawaiian Electric Co. power plant, would be up and running by late 2009.

In July, Hawaiian Electric told Greentech Media that Imperium's plant was delayed, and didn't know if the plant would be nixed altogether (see Another Setback for Imperium).

Williams said Imperium has not made any official announcement about the status of the proposed plant.

Imperium had originally planned to finance the plant with money it expected to raise in an initial public offering. But in January, the company announced it would delay its $345 million IPO, citing unfavorable market conditions (see Imperium IPO Delay Underlines Feedstock Shortage, Analyst Says).