Date: November 17, 2009
Source: News Room
The Southeastern Public Service Authority (SPSA) voted to sell its Portsmouth waste-to-energy plant to Wheelabrator Technologies for $150 million, and therefore, reject proposals from two companies to buy all of its assets. Wheelabrator, and ReEnergy Holdings LLC, had submitted competing proposals to purchase the authority's assets for about $240 million. That amount equals SPSA's outstanding debt accumulated over many years of mismanagement since its inception in 1978 to service the waste management needs of its eight member municipalities. In wrestling with its financial crisis, the authority had been studying the potential sale of the waste-to-energy plant for two years. At the same time, it has imposed almost draconian price increases at its landfill and transfer stations where fees are currently $170 per ton, among the highest in the country. Independent consultants had recommended the sale of the WTE plant to Wheelabrator alone owing to concerns about the complexity of a larger deal involving all of the authority's assets, the fact that ReEnergy's offer was contingent on selling tax exempt bonds and its ability to do so in the current economic environment.