Nov. 12–You wouldn’t know to look at it, but plans for a $100 million plant to refine the gas made from rotting trash into fuel for natural gas vehicles remain on target.
Officials with Meadowbrook Energy LLC originally set out to build a refinery on 19 acres along Marshwood Road in Throop. When threats of a zoning fight loomed on the horizon, company officials revised plans and moved the project just across the border to Keystone Industrial Park in Dunmore.
The revision meant the company had to take project designs back to the drawing board.
Meadowbrook President Randy Holmes said he hopes to finish the planning stage and start construction by the end of the year, with the project to be operational before the end of 2019.
Meadowbrook has yet to file its applications with the state Department of Environmental Protection, spokeswoman Colleen Connolly said; however, the company and agency started preliminary talks when Throop was the target spot.
The project is to take captured gases released from decomposing trash at the Keystone Sanitary Landfill and strip away the contaminants until only pure, pipeline-ready methane remains. Part of a relatively young renewable fuel industry, Meadowbrook’s refinery would be one of the largest of its kind in the country.
The end product is more expensive than gas drilled or captured through hydraulic fracturing. Meadowbrook relies on the sale of renewable fuel credits, generated when it produces gas, to stay profitable.
The company says it will have capacity to process 16,000 cubic feet of gas per minute.
Keystone is required by law to capture its waste gases. The landfill sells some of it to PEI Power Corp.’sArchbald Power Station in Archbald, which has special equipment that can make electricity from less-refined landfill gas.
A Chicago company buys some of it to run a small power plant on Keystone’s site.
Keystone consultant Al Magnotta has said Keystone uses only about half of the gas it generates. Whatever isn’t sold gets flared or burned.
Meadowbrook has told Keystone officials it can take all of that.
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