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A final plea

to ask county to rethink building plant

September 26, 2012
Steve Schulwitz - News Staff Writer , The Alpena News

Several months ago, Green Power Technologies approached the Montmorency-Oscoda-Alpena Solid Waste Management Authority about building a bio-mass plant at the landfill. At the time, the landfill was operating under an exclusivity agreement with Recovered Energy Resources, which wanted to build a gasification plant on the same land Green Power was interested in.

Commissioners from all three counties chose to move forward with RER, but Green Power plans to make a final plea to the Alpena County commissioners today to reconsider its choice. Green Power Chief Executive Officer James Hebert said a special presentation will be given to the commissioners with an overview of what the company can do.

"I want them to hear the rest of the story and to know that there may still be an opportunity for the county," Hebert said. "I will talk bluntly about RER and the plan, though I will not bad mouth them. The commissioners have an obligation to do what is best for the county. It appears one group stepped up and told the commissioners what they wanted to hear, after learning about the interest in us. Whether the county decides to select us or not, I think it would be a shame if a year down the road nothing materializes with RER and we have moved on to some place else."

Hebert said RER has one customer - the City of Wyandotte - that will purchase the power from the gas plant. He said as a governmental body, the city probably could back out of the 20-year agreement at any point and if it did, questioned who would purchase the power. Hebert said his company has moved beyond the landfill plans and located a piece of property near the heart of Alpena's industrial center, which would suit its plan well. He also said he has buyers in place for the product the plant would produce.

"There is a 20-acre section of land between Lafarge and DPI, and it would work well. I'm also going to reveal Lafarge, DPI and API as partners of ours," Hebert said. "I will show the commissioners our funding and our agreements with the partners. If this were to be built we could hire up to 100 workers. I think the board needs to take a good look at this while there is no final agreement with RER."

In order to produce the bio-mass needed to fill its orders, Green Power would need trash. Alpena County is currently in a flow control agreement with the landfill, but Hebert hopes to sway them into rerouting it to the plant and possibly bringing the garbage in from the landfill as well.

"The key is would Alpena County pull their waste from the landfill in Montmorency," Hebert said. "Right now they only get $50,000 a year and some promises for more. You have to figure the trucks from Alpena go more than 100 miles a day to deliver to Atlanta; if they could keep it in Alpena the haulers would only have to go a few miles. That would be significant in terms of fuel cost savings."

Of the seven commissioners who voted to move forward with RER and not consider Green Power, only Commissioner Cam Habermehl voted for hearing both proposals.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689.

 
 

 

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