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Biodigester construction weeks away

By Mike Williscraft

By early June ground will be broken for Grimsby’s new $4 million biodigester plant.

The facility, to be built at the former landfill site on Park Road near Sobie Road, does not have any grants in line to finance the project.

“The project is definitely proceeding with or without the grant but the grant would be a bonus and really shorten the payback period,” said Grimsby Mayor Bob Bentley, who also sits as a member of the Grimsby Energy board of directors.

“(Our) MP and MPP’s are working on pushing our application to the Small Community’s Fund for Green Energy, too, as Tim Hudak has contacted the Infrastructure Minister Duguid last week. I spoke directly with Jim Bradley last Friday and he is following up at the province plus I spoke with Dean Allison Thursday and he and his staff are following up at the federal level.(We) should hear something within a week or two.”

GE board chairman James Detenbeck said the project has received approval for the construction start.

“We have received the first building permit for the construction and will be scheduling a ground breaking for the project as we move forward,” he said, adding a date is likely to be set for late May or first week of June.

Regarding possible grants, he added, “As of writing this we are on the list for consideration to be funded through the Infrastructure Ontario program, however, we have neither heard confirmation of getting money or the project being rejected.

Bentley noted that tender contracts for items such as input materials are in the works.

“We are looking locally for supply of equipment and goods where possible to make this a Grimsby/Niagara project and have a few companies lined up already,” said Bentley.

Full production is hoped for fall as part of a 20-year FIT (Feed-In Tariff) contract which is projected to generate as much as $25 million over the life of the agreement.

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