Plasco Energy Group CEO Rod Bryden says the firm remains on track to have its waste-to-energy facility up and running in Ottawa within two years.
By David Sali
“I’m fully confident that we’re going to get this done,” Mr. Bryden said in an interview with OBJ late on Tuesday, a few days after the city sent a letter to the high-tech entrepreneur saying it wants to know within two weeks if he requires another extension to secure financing for the plant.
Originally, Plasco was supposed to have its financial arrangements confirmed by the end of March, but council extended that deadline to the end of August. The letter said if Mr. Bryden needs more time to come up with funding, he must give city officials a financial update before the end of this month to give them time to prepare for the environment committee meeting on Aug. 22.
Mr. Bryden said Tuesday he won’t rule out asking for another extension, but he’s hopeful it won’t be necessary.
“I see no issues, but I can’t say with certainty whether we will or we won’t ask for an extension,” he said.
The former owner of the Ottawa Senators said efforts to get the money for the plant together are “going well” and he’s pleased with where the work is heading.
“The project has moved forward as well as I could have hoped,” he said. “I don’t see this becoming an issue for us or the city.”
Plasco plans to convert the city’s garbage into a gas which can be burned to generate electricity, with the city paying a tipping fee of $83.25 a tonne. The city would send 300 tonnes of trash daily to Plasco’s proposed facility on Moodie Drive, which works out to $9.1 million and 109,000 tonnes annually.
Mr. Bryden told OBJ in December 2011 that if the company’s deal with the city ever fell through, “it would be very hard” for Plasco to remain in the capital. This week, he said he still feels the same way, but doubts it will ever come to that.
“The reason why we’re doing it here in Ottawa is because we want to be here,” he said.
The firm, which employs 160 people, has landed several deals outside the capital region over the past couple of years, including in California and Europe. Plasco has also reached a framework for four agreements in China, Mr. Bryden said, with the largest calling for 4,000 tonnes of solid waste to be delivered each day. He said he hopes to have formal contracts for those proposed agreements within the next year or so.
“The interest in Plasco is very high,” he said.