Weekly News Bulletin: Dec. 21-27, 2010


Good News for Renewable Energy, EIA Says Oil Could Top $200 a Bbl in 2035

Good news for the renewable energy industry: gas-fired energy will be the fastest growing energy segment, driven by rising oil prices, says the latest report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). EIA's preliminary Annual Energy Outlook 2011 (AEO2011) projects estimated domestic energy resources and consumption through 2035. The final report is to be issued early next year.

Renewable resources are expected to climb to 14% of the U.S. generation market by 2035 in response to federal tax credits in the near-term and state requirements in the long-term. It will be spurred by rising industrial gas demand as a result of rising oil prices. Global demand for oil will rise from 84 million barrels per day in 2009 to nearly 111 million barrels per day in 2035, much of it coming from harder to reach places using exotic technologies. That is likely to cause prices to climb to between $125 per barrel and could go as high as $200 per barrel...Read More »



Ohio Ruling Exempts Landfills from Local Zoning; Deemed Public Utility

In what could have industry wide implications, an Ohio appellate court ruled that a landfill can qualify as a public utility and therefore be exempt from local zoning restrictions. The decision by Ohio's First District Court of Appeals clears the way for Rumpke Consolidate Companies (Cincinnati, OH) to move ahead with a $145.5 million expansion of its Colerain Township landfill in eastern Ohio. In its ruling, the court qualified a public utility as a business that among other things, provides an essential public service, and its operations are a matter of public concern." The ruling followed another just a day earlier wherein the Ohio Supreme Court sided with Rumpke on a side issue related to the utility dispute. The court ruled that Colerain Township was not a "a proper party" to a case challenging the constitutionality of Ohio legislation that would have given township's zoning authority over private landfills...Read More »



WCA Waste Buys Certain Assets from Emerald Waste

WCA Waste Corp. (Houston, TX) is acquiring a pair of landfills, a transfer station and three hauling operations from Emerald Waste Services LLC (Freeport, FL). Financial terms were not disclosed, although the company estimates that acquired assets collectively generate about $37 million in annual revenue and include 220 employees. The two landfills, the MacLand I municipal solid waste site and the MacLand II construction and demolition debris facility, are in Moss Point, MS and serve five surrounding counties in Mississippi and Alabama. The transfer station and hauling operations serve seven central Florida counties in the Gainesville, Orange City and Daytona Beach markets. "We remain focused on growing WCA by acquiring tuck-in operations in our existing markets, and acquiring companies in new markets," said WCA Chairman and CEO Tom J. Fatjo, Jr. Emerald Waste, which serves 145,000 customers in the Gulf Coast and Central Florida region, is a portfolio company of Chicago- based private equity firm WHI Capital Partners...Read More »



IESI-BFC Appoints William Hulligan Head of US Operations

IESI-BFC Ltd. (Toronto, ON), formerly BFI Canada, has appointed William P. ("Bill") Hulligan Executive Vice President in charge of leading U.S. Operations effective January 1, 2011. Hulligan recently served in that post for rival Waste Services Inc. which was acquired by IESI-BFC last July. He has over 40 years' of experience in the waste industry, having previously spent many years as an executive at Waste Management of North America, Inc. "Bill has extensive industry leadership experience and vast knowledge of its participants, a proven track record of growing the business and achieving results, and has been a mentor to many", said Joseph Quarin, President and COO of IESI-BFC. Quarin himself was only a month ago elevated to President and Chief Operating Officer, having succeeded Charles F. "Mickey" Flood who has become a vice chairman...Read More »



Greenstar Recycling Opens $7 Million "Single-Stream" Facility in Houston

Greenstar North America (Houston, TX) announced opening a new recycling plant, the first "single-stream" facility in Houston, TX. The company invested $7 million in upgrading an existing facility. The new 90,000 square foot plant, announced last September, has the capacity to process 15,000 tons of material each month. Single-stream recycling, which allows for the processing of comingled recyclable materials using sophisticated sorting machines, reduces hauling expense and boosts recovery rates by making it easier for consumers. Greenstar CEO Matt Delnick says single stream has helped cities across Texas increase recycling rates, citing a 300 percent increase in Dallas, 200 percent in San Antonio and 75 percent in Austin. Greenstar, which is a subsidiary of Dublin Ireland-based NTR plc, handles about 2 million tons of recyclables per year through a network of 14 processing facilities in the US...Read More »



IESI-BFC Opens Single-Stream Recycling Facility Serving Central Texas

IESI Corp. (Fort Worth, TX) has opened a new single-stream recycling operation at its Pflugerville, TX facility it acquired last September. The facility contains a 20,000 square foot recycling area that will process 54,000 tons of comingled recyclables per year, serving about 32,000 homes in the central Texas area. It adds to the secure document destruction services already provided there and is also replete with an observation deck for educational purposes. In October 2009, IESI constructed and opened a LEED Certified single-stream facility in McKinney, TX. "We are very proud of our many environmental and recycling efforts," said Mickey Flood, Vice Chairman of IESI. "These efforts are a testament to our leadership in the environmental industry."...Read More »



Energy Quest to Build 6.4-MW Biomass Power Plant in Georgia

Startup company Energy Quest, Inc. (Henderson, NV) said it is beginning work on a $12 million 6.4-MW modular biomass facility in Lee County, Georgia. The plant will consist of four 1.6 megawatt modular power systems and consume 10 to 12 tons per hour of agricultural waste biomass from the surrounding area. The plant will also produce 16 to 18 thousand tons per year of a high quality Biochar, a byproduct of the gasification process, that will be sold as a soil enhancement product...Read More »



Industry Loses Challenge to EPA Enforcement of Renewable Fuel Rule

An appeals court rejected an oil industry challenge to the EPA's biodiesel blending requirements brought last March. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously dismissed arguments by the American Petroleum Institute and the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association that the court should review EPA's rules. Industry had balked at EPA's enforcement of a 2007 law, the Energy Independence and Security Act, because EPA failed to issue standards for 2009 and 2010 until March 2010, arguing that it was illegal for the agency to make retroactive requirements for a period before the rule was finalized and improper to combine both years. But the court ruled that EPA had "already adequately examined the claimed retroactive effects." Under the rules, refiners have until next Feb. 28, 2011, to show they have blended the required amounts of biodiesel into the nation's diesel fuel supply for 2009 and 2010...Read More »



Veolia Energy Constructing its First Landfill Gas-to-Energy Plant in US

Veolia Energy North America announced its first landfill gas-to-energy project (LFGTE), a 4.8 megawatt facility located at its Hickory Meadows landfill in eastern Wisconsin. The plant will be comprised of three reciprocating engine generators each with a capacity of 1.6 MW, that once complete in early summer 2011, will collectively provide enough electricity to power 2,800 homes. Veolia has entered a long term power purchase agreement with Wisconsin Public Service who will buy all of the power generated by the plant, along with the associated renewable energy credits. In 2005 Wisconsin established a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), requiring utilities to meet a gradually increasing percentage of retail sales with qualified renewable sources. Globally, Veolia Energy manages more than 2,400 MW of alternative and renewable energy facilities...Read More »



Another Study Says EPA Tailoring Rule Jeopardizes Investment, Jobs and Goals

Another study finds large negative impacts to the economy from EPA's proposed tailoring rule for incinerators and industrial burners. This time, a study commissioned by the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) finds that the agency's "Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule" jeopardizes over 130 renewable energy projects, between 11,000 and 26,000 green jobs, and $18 billion in capital investment across the country. "The Tailoring Rule is a powerful deterrent to forest biomass energy investments and job opportunities," NAFO President and CEO David P. Tenny said of the study's findings. He says that regulatory uncertainty is hindering projects and "threatens the long-term viability of the biomass energy sector which, in turn, undermines the renewable energy goals of the Administration and Congress."...Read More »



Greenleaf Power Acquires Biomass Power Plant In Mecca, CA

Biomass power plant developer and operator Greenleaf Power reached an agreement to purchase 100% of Colmac Energy stock including the 47 MW facility which burns diverted wood waste, green waste and agricultural residues and sells its electrical output to Southern California Edison under a long-term agreement. Greenleaf buys biomass power plants where it can optimize efficiency and improve capacity, or more easily procure feedstocks, or improve sales. Colmac is the third biomass acquisition by Greenleaf. Earlier this year, the company purchased the 30 MW Honey Lake biomass plant in Wendel, CA as well as a 28 MW biomass plant in Scotia, CA...Read More »



Waste Management Raises Dividend 8%, 7th Straight Year of Increases

Waste Management (Houston, TX) boosted its quarterly dividend by 8% to $0.34 per share in 2011, marking the seventh straight year of increases. It is expected to cost the company an extra $12 million per quarter. The new payout is expected to be made in March of 2011, although specific dates were not given. Like many other companies, Waste Management is returning more cash to shareholders rather than hiring in large scale...Read More »


Sign up to receive our free Weekly News Bulletin