Plasco gets US$140M from investors


Plasco Energy Group Inc. has received US$140 million from a group of private investors to help the Ottawa company speed development of commercial-scale waste-toenergy facilities around the world.

The funding is the second big cash infusion for Plasco, which has been running a trial version of its garbage incinerating technology at Ottawa's Trail Road garbage dump. Added to US$110 million it collected from investors last year, it brings the total investment raised by the firm to more than US$390 million.

'The new round of capital bolsters our balance sheet and puts us in a position to execute on multiple projects that have emerged since our last round of financing,' said Rod Bryden, Plasco's chief executive. 'The performance of the company's existing Ottawa plant and a strong pipeline of contract opportunities have allowed us to demonstrate to investors that our technology is proven and ready for commercial delivery.'

The latest financing was led by Soros Fund Management, the hedge fund company founded by well-known financier George Soros.

The company said it invested in the Ottawa company to get in on the ground floor and help the firm introduce its technology globally.

Plasco is building a fullscale garbage-to-energy plant on Moodie Drive in Ottawa. Similar plants are planned for Red Deer, Alta., several municipalities in California and cities in Poland and China.

Bryden said Tuesday that the company is inching closer to obtaining the final approvals it needs to begin construction on full-scale garbage-toenergy plants in Ottawa, Red Deer, California and Poland. Talks with municipalities in China are also ongoing. Testing of the company's technology, which has been done at its facility at the Trail Road landfill in the city's south end, is complete.

Bryden said Plasco is waiting for final approval from Ontario's Ministry of the Environment to operate the facility permanently. Government approvals allowing the plant to operate on a temporary basis have expired. The company has spent more than US$135 million fine-tuning the technology at the facility.

Construction of a full scale Plasco garbage-to-energy plant located on Moodie Drive also hinges on ministry approvals of the company's technology.

The Ottawa Trail Road facility will be able to turn as much as 400 tonnes of garbage a day into more than 20 megawatts of energy, enough to power 7,200 houses, the company has said.

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