Minnesota Plasma Gasification Facility Receives State Funding

diagram showing Alter NRG's plasma gasification process
Alter NRG’s plasma gasification process.
(Click for larger image.)

Koochiching Development Authority (KDA) has contracted with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for the release of US$2.5 million in funding from the State of Minnesota for a proposed waste-to-energy plasma gasification facility using Alter NRG’s proprietary Westinghouse Plasma Technology.

The State funding is expected to be matched from the US Department of Energy. The proposed project which is to be located in Koochiching County in Northern Minnesota is called the Renewable Energy Clean Air Project (RECAP). The State and Federal grant monies will be used to further develop segments of the project including preliminary design, permitting, and preconstruction services.

County Commissioner Mike Hanson, states that “America’s waste disposal methods are alarmingly archaic and completely unsustainable. The residents of Koochiching County welcome the opportunity to further investigate a proven technology that is environmentally responsible, creates high-tech employment opportunities in rural Minnesota and simultaneously develops a solid waste disposal method that offers a potential model for America. It is simply ‘the right thing to do’.”

The Plasma Gasification Waste-to-Energy facility is expected to gasify a variety of feedstocks, including municipal waste, regional woody biomass waste, and biosolids from the waste water treatment facility. RECAP is intending to convert the waste feedstocks into syngas and then steam or electricity for local area use.

Alter NRG previously performed preliminary engineering for the RECAP project feasibility study which was funded by the State of Minnesota. Alter NRG has now been engaged for approximately US$250,000 of further engineering services and is expected to begin detailed engineering in mid 2011, the scope and price of which are still to be negotiated. The project, as currently proposed, uses a smaller scale W15 Westinghouse Plasma gasifier which sells for approximately US$12 million. The Westinghouse Plasma gasifier is expected to be ordered in late 2011 to mid 2012 upon successful development and permitting. Coronal LLC, a private company located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the developer and project manager of RECAP. In this capacity Coronal LLC has guided the RECAP work effort through feasibility study and now is coordinating the preliminary design segment of the work effort. Coronal LLC focuses on development of plasma gasification facilities using the Westinghouse Plasma technology and is advancing other projects in North America and worldwide.

John Howard, Chief Technical Officer and Stephen Korstad, Chief Financial Officer, of Coronal LLC believe that “the RECAP project receiving these significant grant monies is a major milestone for the project. Koochiching Development Authority and ourselves as the developer, are adequately capitalized to take the project through preliminary design and regulatory approvals. We are very pleased to be working with the industry leading Westinghouse Technology and continue to aggressively advance other opportunities as well.”

Alter NRG is pursuing alternative energy solutions to meet the growing demand for environmentally responsible energy in world markets. The Company’s vision is to commercialize growth technologies through environmentally sustainable and economically viable alternative energy projects. The Company’s objectives are twofold; First, is to further commercialize the Westinghouse Plasma Gasification Technology, through a wholly owned subsidiary, to provide renewable and clean energy solutions from a wide variety of feedstocks, and providing a wide variety of energy outputs – including liquid fuels like ethanol and diesel, electrical power, and syngas; Second, to capitalize on the rapidly growing geoexchange residential and commercial heating and cooling market through a wholly owned subsidiary CleanEnergy that enables consumers to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce the cost and volatility of energy bills using the energy from the earth.

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