The city may seek proposals from firms interested in building a waste-to-energy facility in the municipality. Two firms have already expressed interest in building such facilities within city boundaries.
Pennsylvania-based Delta Thermo Energy (DTE) and Parsippany-based WSI Management have said they will both submit proposals once the city council approves a resolution opening up the request for proposals (RFP) process.
The city plans to weigh the proposals of various firms before considering a waste-to-energy facility within municipal borders.
“We’re going to go ahead and explore the idea to see if there’s any value in this type of a facility,” said mayor Jose “Joey” Torres. “We’re vetting it for the sake of transparency. And let’s just see what comes in.”
What’s bound to come in is a proposal by WSI Management which has a technology called Waste Elutriation Technology (WET) that turns refuse into composite bio-planking, electrical energy, and renewable fuel cubes for co-generation plants, according to Matthew Linda, vice-president of the Parsippany-based company.
“What we have is low-temperature steam that cuts the material up, turns it into feedstock, the feedstock is then turned into fuel pellets, and those fuel pellets are used in co-generation plants,” explained Linda.
Linda’s plant will cost $100 million to construct and operate. The plant’s construction will generate 80 to 100 new jobs, he said. He said city residents will be provided training and hired to run the plant. 80 to 100 employees are needed to operate the plant, he said.
Similarly, Delta Thermo Energy’s $45-50 million facility, will create 75 jobs during construction, and require 29 full-time employees to run the plant which will utilize technology developed in South Korea, Japan, and Germany to convert refuse into clean fuel through a process called hydrothermal decomposition, according to Robert Van Naarden, president of DTE.
Naarden explained the technology to council members few weeks ago stating waste is run through a pressure cooker like system that ultimately produces what is called engineered pulverized fuel (EPF), a black substance that resembles crumbed soil. This substance is then burned to produce electricity, he said.
Naarden’s company has yet to select a location to situate its plant, but it has been looking at a contaminated site in the corner of Madison and 3rd Avenues. He said his company would submit a proposal depending on what is being sought in the RFP. “If we can work something out together that would be fabulous,” said Naarden.
Linda said his firm is looking at a site near the border of Clifton.
Both firms have been lobbying council members. Both have also met with the mayor. Neither received a good reception from Torres.
Linda said he scheduled a meeting with the mayor to discuss his proposal some time ago, but the mayor cut short the meeting and dismissed his proposal for a waste-to-energy facility in the city. He isn’t alone Naarden’s proposal also received the cold shoulder.
The mayor has said Naarden’s proposal is little more than a cloaked incinerator. Naarden though denies it. In fact, he has told council members his facility produces no odor and does not release any smoke as is the case with incinerators.
Andre Sayegh, 6th Ward councilman, whose economic development committee, has brought forth the resolution, has said waste-to-energy facilities are the wave of the future. Not every council member though is convinced it’s the wave of the future.
“I’m not convinced of the idea,” said Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large, last Tuesday. “I have a fundamental concern when you’re talking about any type of waste facility being located in an already environmentally challenged urban center such as Paterson.”