Weekly News Bulletin: Mar. 22-28, 2011


Soros Fund Invests $140 Million in Plasco Energy

Plasco Energy Group (Ottawa, ON) said it received an equity investment of $140 million from a group of funds managed by Soros Fund Management LLC that it hopes will speed the development of commercial-scale waste-to-energy facilities around the world. The new financing follows a C$110 million equity commitment led by Ares Management LLC in July 2010 and brings the total investment raised by the firm to more than $390 million. In December the company said it completed testing of its Trail Road plasma gasification waste-to-energy plant in Ottawa, a facility that has been operating since Jan. 2007 and has the capacity to convert as much as 400 tons of waste per day into more than 20 megawatts of energy. The company is now building a full-scale plant nearby in Ottawa and has plans to build others in Red Deer, AB, several municipalities in California and cities in Poland and China...Read More »



EPA Extends Greenhouse Gas Reporting Deadline Despite Doubts

EPA has released its proposed rule to create a three-year exemption from its greenhouse gas (GHG) permitting requirements for industries that use biomass. The rule, announced March 14, would eliminate the need for so-called biogenic emissions to meet the requirements of the agency's "tailoring" rule, which took effect in January and requires GHG limits in some Clean Air Act prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) and Title V permits for large industrial facilities. The three-year delay will give EPA more time to collect data on regulating biogenic GHGs. During the three-year deferral period, EPA will conduct a "detailed examination" of the science associated with biogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from stationary sources, according to an EPA fact sheet. Industry argues that biogenic emissions are carbon neutral because plants absorb the same amount of CO2 when they grow as they emit when they are burned. Some environmentalists, however, argue that biomass can have equal or greater CO2 emissions compared to fossil fuels. The deferral is a win for biomass facilities because they will not have to meet PSD permitting requirements to install best available control technology (BACT) to reduce their GHGs...Read More »



Activists Smarting for a Fight over Biomass Energy

The big environmental groups are increasing opposition to biomass as a cleaner-burning alternative to coal by opposing new plants and resisting EPA's proposal to delay greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation of the fuel for three years. In a tersely worded letter to EPA dated Mar. 7, a group of activists said the agency will be violating the intent of Congress and could be breaking the law if it waits three more years to start collecting data that Congress had ordered to be ready by 2009, according to the letter from the Sierra Club, Clean Air Task Force, Environmental Defense Fund and Natural Resources Defense Council, collectively known as the "big greens." "The deferral would seriously degrade the reporting system's data quality, deny the public its legal right to this vital emission data, and disrupt other reporting programs," the environmental groups wrote...Read More »



Harvest Power Raises $51.7 Million Series B Financing

Harvest Power (Boston, MA), which converts organic waste into fuel and fertilizer products, announced it has raised $51.7 million in Series B financing. Generation Investment Management, a firm focused on sustainability that was started by Al Gore and David Blood, led the round with DAG Ventures and Keating Capital also participating alongside pre-existing investors Kleiner Perkins, Waste Management, Munich Venture Partners, and TriplePoint Capital. The new funding brings the total equity financing raised by Harvest Power to roughly $70 million. "Investors recognize our platform as the smart, cost-effective choice for managing organic waste," said Paul Sellew, CEO of Harvest. "Communities trust us to carry their organic management plans forward and provide local renewable energy and nutrient rich soil amendments with disposal costs lower than landfills." Three-year-old Harvest Power specializes in extracting valuable products from organic waste, such as food scraps and yardclippings. It uses different techniques either to generate compost, which is used as a soil amendment, or to produce biogas, which can be burned for heat or electricity. Its projects rely on natural bacteria to break down organic matter...Read More »



EPA Publishes Final Package of Combustion Rules, Now Begin Legal Challenges

The EPA has published in the March 21 Federal Register its final package of combustion rules including maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards to cut air toxics from industrial boilers, which begins a 60-day period for challenges before they become effective on May 20. Widespread criticism of the rules is likely to lead to lawsuits from both industry and environmentalists who have actively criticized the rules especially the MACT for boilers that are "major" sources of air toxics and smaller "area" source boilers, and the other regulations. The suite of rules also includes new source performance standard (NSPS) to cut toxic emissions and other pollutants from solid waste incinerators, an NSPS for sewage sludge incinerators, and a rule defining non-hazardous solid waste, which determines whether facilities are subject to the boiler MACT or the NSPS. Environmentalists are likely to challenge key provisions of the boiler MACT and incinerator NSPS that allows sub-categorization, which sets varying emission standards based on the type of facility. On the other hand, Industry, Republicans and other critics warn that the proposed version of the boiler MACT would impose massive costs leading to thousands of job losses from a wide range of industries...Read More »



David Sutherland-Yoest Resigns from IESI-BFC

IESI-BFC Ltd. (Toronto, ON) announced that David Sutherland-Yoest has resigned as director, EVP and chief development officer of the company. He had been CEO of Waste Services when IESI-BFC acquired the firm last July. He assumed that post in 2001 when the company used to be called Capital Environmental Resource Inc. Capital Environmental was formed in 1997 to take advantage of consolidation opportunities in North America with an initial acquisition of certain operations in Canada from Canadian Waste Services Inc. shortly after its acquisition by USA Waste Services, Inc...Read More »



Clean Harbors Prices Senior Notes Offering, Now $250 Million

Clean Harbors, Inc. (Norwell, MA) said it priced a follow-on offering of $250 million in senior secured notes due 2016, having increased its size from a previously announced $200 million. The company plans to use the net proceeds from the offering, together with a portion of the company's available cash, to pay the purchase price for its proposed acquisition of Badger Daylighting Ltd. and related fees and expenses. Clean Harbors announced its CAN$222 million cash acquisition on Jan. 26. Badger has 82 operating centers throughout Canada and the US and operates a fleet of 410 hydrovac units, which use water and vacuum technology to blast through dirt and rocks to dig trenches...Read More »



Waste Industries Finances $750 Million Senior Credit Facility

Waste Industries USA, Inc. (Raleigh, NC) said it successfully completed a refinancing of its existing credit facility with a $750 million senior secured credit facility, consisting of a $325 million revolving facility due 2016 and a $425 million term loan B due 2017. The proceeds were used to refinance existing borrowings and pay related fees and expenses. Available capacity under the new revolver of approximately $200 million will be used for acquisitions, new facility development and general corporate purposes. The Company has the right to increase the aggregate amount of the facility by $150 million, subject to certain conditions. Ven Poole, the company's Chief Executive Officer commented; "This new credit facility will allow the Company to continue its 40 year history of solid growth and will also contribute to the Company's development of new recycling, disposal and power generation facilities across the Southeast. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Macquarie acted as lead arrangers ofthe financing...Read More »



Waste Management to Report First Quarter on Apr. 28

Waste Management (Houston, TX) said it plans to release first quarter financial results before the opening of the market on Thursday, April 28 and will host a conference call later that morning at 10 am (EDT) to discuss those results and answer investor questions...Read More »



Industrial Services of America to Report Fourth Quarter on Mar. 28

Industrial Services of America (Louisville, KY) said it will host a conference call to announce fourth quarter earnings on Monday, March 28 at 2 pm (EDT)...Read More »


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