Solid Waste Planning: Independent Engineer’s Evaluation of Recycling and Biogas Energy Plant

Background
The Municipal Review Committee (MRC) represents 83 member communities in northern Maine to manage solid waste collected from these communities. The MRC previously delivered municipally collected solid waste from its then 187 member communities to the Penobscot Energy Recovery Company (PERC) waste to energy facility under a long-term contract. The PERC contract expired in early 2018. The MRC went through a procurement process to select a long-term, cost-effective, and environmentally sound solution to manage its members’ municipally collected solid waste. The MRC selected Fiberight, LLC (now Coastal Resources of Maine, LLC) to develop, construct and operate a 180,000 ton per year Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) Facility. The facility is financed through $25.2 million private equity, a $5 million MRC contribution, and $45 million in Series 2017 Tax Exempt Bonds.

Challenge
The challenge was to prepare an Independent Engineer’s report to 1) evaluate and confirm the viability of the Fiberight technology for material separation of recyclables and treatment or the organic byproducts, 2) assess the proposed facility operations and commodity outputs, and 3) provide an opinion on the reasonableness of the Project assumptions and projected Facility technical and financial performance under varying market conditions and input assumptions. SCS was selected by the equity investors (Ultra Capital and Fiberight) to prepare the report that would support the issuance of $45 million in Series 2017 Tax Exempt Bonds, and worked closely with Jefferies during the period leading up to the bond offering.

Outcomes and Benefits
SCS’s Independent Engineer’s report was completed and became part of the Series 2017 Bond issuance documents. The Bond Issuance was successful, and the $45 million was raised at a reasonable bond rate in December 2017. The project is under construction and is expected to become fully operational in the first quarter of 2019; however, process shakedown will begin in the fall of 2018.

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