Plasco plant delayed over federal funding bid

A construction start for a $90-million Central Alberta gasification plant is expected to be pushed back until the fall while Plasco Energy Group waits word on federal funding.

A construction start for a $90-million Central Alberta gasification plant is expected to be pushed back until the fall while Plasco Energy Group waits word on federal funding.

“It might be delayed a little bit for sure,” said Plasco executive vice-president Chris Gay from his Ottawa office on Tuesday. “We’re now involved with federal government funding on this, and so it’s appropriately slow I guess I would say.”

“I’m still hoping for (a construction start) this fall for sure. I’m moving off this summer and putting it into this fall.”

A senior Plasco official flew out from Ottawa in May to reassure municipal leaders that the project was still on schedule. The company predicted workers would start moving dirt this summer on a seven-acre location next to the Horn Hill Waste Transfer Site, east of Penhold. The 200-tonne-a-day plant was to have been completed by late 2010.

Gay said Plasco is looking for around $22 million from a federal government green infrastructure fund.

“The applications are submitted and they are reviewing it right now. There are questions certainly that we are answering all the time for him.

“I’ll go out on a limb and say we will probably have some sort of response from them in eight weeks. It looks very favourable.”

If the money doesn’t come through, or the government approves a smaller amount, Plasco’s project will still go ahead, he said.

“Then we just go for another way and proceed,” he said.

However, a negative response from government could affect project scheduling.

“It is a time delay thing. That is a little bit of a problem that we have with it,” he said.

“I mean this was the whole point of the infrastructure fund was to get dollars out there and get them going and get them generating good news for the economy — right?”

Meanwhile, pre-design work for the Central Alberta waste-to-energy plant is continuing at Plasco’s headquarters in Ottawa, where the company has a demonstration up and running.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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