Strange believes the city could save as much as $3 million by letting a Huntsville company gasify its waste, as well as the garbage of other municipalities in the Southeast region.
Strange announced Friday that the city has decided to partner with Plasma Waste Recycling (PWR) to build a plasma plant in Montgomery, making it the company's first plasma plant. The city will now negotiate a few minor points before both sides sign off on a contract, which could happen within a month's time.
Once a contract is in place, PWR will start the lengthy process of proving that the technology works before investors will be willing to offer up the $100 million needed to build a plant capable of gasifying about 1,000 tons of waste a day and employing 75 people.
'We feel good about it. We've run smaller scale tests, and we feel the technology is very good,' said Terry Moore, who is the CEO and president of PWR. 'Obviously, you have to convince your investors so they will feel good about it, because it's their money.'
Moore said PWR was talking to several interested investors, but he declined to name them since none of them has committed at this point. The city would only pay about $25,000 in attorney fees, but it would sign a 20-year contract.
Both Strange and Moore said they had worked out the 'major deal points' and were down to more minor issues. One of those issues, which may not be so minor, is who would decide what outside entities are allowed to bring their garbage to the plasma plant in Montgomery.
Strange said the city is taking a bigger chance by going with a cutting-edge solution to its garbage problems, but that the payoff could also be bigger.
'It's more risky from the standpoint of technology, not environmentally, but the revenue is about twice what the other (option) is,' Strange said in a meeting with representatives of the City Council and County Commission.