US waste and recycling firm, Fiberight, has broken ground a new facility waste to biofuel facility in Maine.
The company, which currently operates a demonstration facility in Virginia, claimed it will be able to recover 80% of incoming waste stream by removing recyclables and organic material to process into ethanol and fuel pellets.
According to Fiberight the ceremony held this week to mark the start of construction is the culmination of years of research, negotiations and advocacy for a new waste disposal solution for more than 100 Maine communities.
However, a report by Centralmaine.com said that while Fiberight has chosen its financial backers, the company has yet to secure final approval of its construction financing as it waits to settle an appeal on its permits from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
The ceremony was held by the Municipal Review Committee, which represents the solid waste disposal interests of 187 Maine communities.
The new plant is intended to be a solution to increased tipping fees the Review Committee’s towns would face after its contract with the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. (PERC) ends in 2018.
According to the report, Fiberight said that at that time, PERC’s contract to provide energy to Emera Maine at above-market rates also comes to a close, forcing its tipping fees up.
The Review Committee’s board of directors reportedly chose the “more financially viable” option for its communities would be the yet-to-be-built plant in Hampden.
Centralmaine.com reported that amost 110 communities have agreed to send their waste to its plant after their contract with PERC ends in 2018. It added that departing members will either stay with PERC or find other ways to deal with their trash, such as landfill.
The groundbreaking ceremony marked the beginning of the Review Committee’s part of the project and includes building the road to the proposed site and its infrastructure.
After the ceremony, the Review Committee board held a regular meeting at the Hampden Town Office where they were reported to have discussed waiving penalties for an additional town, as well as litigation, the appeal on the facility’s permits and Fiberight’s progress on securing its financing.
According to the report PERC has filed an appeal with the Kennebec County Superior Court for the reversal of the Fiberight permits issued by the Department of Environmental Protection, citing “deficiencies in the record,” among other things.
Fiberight is said to be waiting to close on its loans for the project until after the appeal is finalised, Pottle said.
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