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Home City Council City administration suggests rejecting ‘Waste to Energy’ tech proposals

City administration suggests rejecting ‘Waste to Energy’ tech proposals

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City administration suggests rejecting ‘Waste to Energy’ tech proposals
Prince Albert City Hall -- Herald file photo.

Prince Albert city council will receive a report on the viability of “Waste to Energy” technologies when they meet for an executive committee meeting on Monday.

A number of companies have made proposals about diverting a significant portion of the City’s municipal solid waste over the last few years. However, a report from the City’s operations manager, Jeff Da Silva, says there are concerns about the viability and chance of success for these ventures.

“Administration’s review of Waste to Energy solutions strongly suggest that the application of this technology to convert municipal solid wastes to fuels is still very much in the beginning stages of development,” Da Silva’s report reads. “The apparent forerunners in the industry still do not appear to have functioning full-scale facilities.”

Da Silva wrote that one company still did not have an operational facility four years after they were supposed to start, which suggests that any investment with these companies would be “very risky.”

Administration has other concerns too. Da Silva wrote that these facilities may not be financially viable, which would make any guarantees from the City risky.

The biggest concern is revenue related. Da Silva wrote that the City would have to guarantee a certain payment level so the companies starting the Waste to Energy facility could secure funding. These guarantees could be in place for 20 years.

City administration has reached out to Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Trade and Development to discuss the proposed facilities. Da Silva wrote that the province confirmed a number of companies had approached them about the technology, but none had passed a basic vetting process required by the Ministry.

“Administrations recommendation is not to proceed further with any proposed waste to energy ventures,” Da Silva wrote. “The technology has not been able to be successfully applied at commercial scale in Canada.

“The nature of the proposed financial relationship appears to present risks to the City as the City would be required to make guarantees of a financial nature without having any guarantees for ongoing operational costs or profit sharing,” he added.

Da Silva’s review is one of two reports from Administration and Committees on the agenda for Monday’s executive committee meeting. There is also a seven item consent agenda, and a verbal presentation from Melanie Markling concerning the City’s COVID-19 management protocols.

The meeting begins at 4 p.m. on Monday at City Hall.