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[GreenYes] Plasco Energy - Alberta

One Man's Junk Is Another's Treasure

By Canadian Press
23 Sep 2008 at 10:03 AM GMT-04:00

A central Alberta county has pulled its support for a regional gasification plant, but the project's manager says the venture to turn garbage into electricity is still a go.

LACOMBE, Alta. (CP) -- Lacombe County decided last week to drop out of the 15-member Central Alberta Waste Management Commission. It was formed to ensure a supply of garbage for a $100-million Plasco Energy plant expected to be built in Red Deer County.

"It's a shame they won't be part of it," said manager Frank Peck after receiving official notice that Lacombe County is out. "That's a political decision and they're entitled to that."

Without Lacombe County's garbage, the plant will be scaled back to a 200-tonne-a-day facility from 300 tonnes a day, he said.

The original intent was to build the smaller plant, but capacity was expanded when the Lacombe Regional Solid Waste Authority and its seven municipalities, including Lacombe County, came on board.

Peck said there is still strong support for gasification from other members and there are a number of municipalities waiting to join.

"The commission will still have sufficient garbage and will be proceeding."

Ottawa-based Plasco said recently it expects to have details on a construction schedule by November. It's hoped construction will start next spring and be completed the following year.

Terry Hager, Lacombe County commissioner, said there was a concern that waste treatment costs could rise above the proposed $65 per tonne if provincial waste regulations changed.

There was also the possibility that if one of the members breached its contract with Plasco, a third party such as a financial institution could seek redress from the commission.

Hager said the county determined the risks were too high for the municipality, which already has a long-term garbage disposal agreement at about $20 a tonne.

© Canadian Press

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