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January 4, 2018

Fiberight waste-to-energy plant on track to open in the spring

Fiberight LLC has completed the $70 million project financing necessary to complete construction on the first phase of the municipal solid waste-to-energy plant it's building in Hampden.

The financing includes a $45 million Finance Authority of Maine tax-exempt bond issuance underwritten by Jefferies LLC and $25 million in private equity. Phase 1 construction began in October, with a focus on sitework and building construction, the company said in a news release Wednesday.

Fiberight CEO Craig Stuart-Paul said that with the close of the bond financing, the plant will start accepting municipal waste in the second quarter of the year. "We are working with the MRC and our customers to manage a smooth transition as we begin bringing waste to our facility," he said.

The Fiberight plant will serve 83 municipalities, many of which were among the 187 Municipal Review Committee cities and towns that had a 30-year contract with the Penobscot Energy Recovery Company incinerator in Orrington. With that contract scheduled to expire in March, along with a rate deal that made tipping fees lower than market, the MRC partnered with Fiberight.

Many of the MRC municipalities, however, broke off to find other trash disposal solutions.

The 180,0000-ton per year project will convert solid waste into biogas, a process that hasn't been used yet in the U.S. though tested at Fiberight's demonstration plant in Virginia and throughout Europe, according to the company. The plant generates clean cellulose, engineered fuels and biogas from traditionally non-recyclable materials, the company says, and also features a recycling component.

"This project represents a new solution for waste management that efficiently recovers more resources from waste than has been possible up to now," Fiberight stated in Wednesday's news release.

"Fiberight's disruptive waste-processing technology enables a high degree of separation, recovery and monetization of commodity products as never before achieved," said Steven Davey, Fiberight's COO. "We project that our platform will allow municipalities and private waste haulers a sustainable waste recovery solution that will reduce dependence on landfilling and other, less sustainable, disposal alternatives.".

Fiberight has a 15-year contract with participating MRC municipalities. The company also plans to process trash from other municipalities and commercial clients under separate contracts, it said.

In addition to the bond financing announced Wednesday, Fiberight has secured project finance commitments that will enable it to build additional projects, the release said. The company said it is working with several municipalities and private waste haulers in the planning of future advanced waste-recycling projects.

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