Proposed trash-to-ethanol plant runs out of gas

2013-03-27T17:00:00Z 2013-03-28T08:08:30Z Proposed trash-to-ethanol plant runs out of gasJim Masters Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 27, 2013 5:00 pm  • 

SCHNEIDER | The proposed trash-to-ethanol plant in Schneider apparently has run out of gas, financially speaking.

A second potential financier of the project, SMC LLC, has bowed out. SMC, a local construction group established to buy the technology rights and contract for the plant, is unable to secure the necessary funding, as was the case with the original proposal from Powers Energy of Indiana LLC.

A letter from SMC attorney George Carberry announced the termination of his client’s agreement with Powers pertaining to the development and funding of the project.

The letter adds that should Powers resume development and acquire the funds to advance the project, then “SMC is ready, willing and able to participate in the design and construction of the Schneider facility.”

Powers previously brokered a contract with the solid waste district in November 2008 to build the trash-to-ethanol plant in Schneider — with a promise of cost savings on county taxpayers’ trash bills and revenue from the production of ethanol from carbon-based garbage.

With two failed financial endeavors, the district has nothing to show for its dealings on the issue, and talk swirls that the district may dump the project altogether.

A statement from Lake County Solid Waste Management District confirmed SMC’s pullout of the project.

The district board will review the matter at its meeting April 18, and there likely will not be any public comment other than action by the district itself, according to the district’s statement.

However, the solid waste district says it still intends to “effectively and efficiently manage solid waste to meet the municipalities’ and the county’s needs in an environmentally sound manner and at a reasonable cost ... and to find a better solution for the disposal of solid waste … and to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills.”

Solid waste district attorney Cliff Dugan had no comment Wednesday on what action the board may take at the April 18 meeting.

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