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Energy-Inc. wants to make Elkhart County the Green capital of the U.S. February 4, 2010

Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.
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Energy-Inc. is still working with potential business partners to plan a $100 million proposed facility, but already has high expectations.

Published: 2/4/2010 12:00:00 AM  Last Updated: 2/4/2010 12:03:09 AM

By: Tim Vandenack 

This story appeared in the Elkhart Truth. See http://www.etruth.com/Know/Business/Story.aspx?ID=504781

GOSHEN — Energy-Inc. can’t be accused of setting its sights low.

“We want to make Elkhart County the greenest county in the United States,” Patrick Hogan, business development manager for the the company, said Wednesday.

Still, there’s no firm timeline for construction of the company’s proposed plant north of Middlebury that would manufacture green energy-generating equipment, employing up to 500. The timing, he told a group in Goshen, depends on finalization of negotiations with several would-be users of the equipment Energy-Inc. plans to make.

Though contract talks in connection with five potential projects are pending, the firm can’t start operating if it doesn’t have enough equipment to build. “It just depends on when the contracts get done,” Hogan said.

At the same time, talks continue with county leaders over Energy-Inc.’s $100 million proposal to develop a facility at the Elkhart County Landfill that would convert the waste there into energy. The county picked Energy-Inc. last December over two other firms to build and operate the waste-to-energy plant, setting a March 31 deadline for negotiation of a formal agreement.

“Literally it’s just working out the fine details on that,” he said. A final accord, which would require no county investment, could be coming “soon.”

‘WAVE OF THE FUTURE’

Energy-Inc.’s plans to build the manufacturing facility near Middlebury at a cost of up to $96 million came to light last August. The Las Vegas-based firm plans to build equipment at the plant that customers would buy or lease to convert the waste they generate into usable energy via pyrolysis or gasification.

Its landfill proposal is a separate project. However, the facility there would use the same technology Energy-Inc. plans to manufacture to convert incoming garbage into energy for use at the adjacent Elkhart County jail.

Delays in the Middlebury plans aside — a company official initially said production could start as early as last October, later moving the date to December — Hogan sounded an optimistic message Wednesday. He was addressing the monthly meeting of Sound of the Environment, a discussion group that focuses on sustainability issues.

GOSHEN — Energy-Inc. can’t be accused of setting its sights low.
“We want to make Elkhart County the greenest county in the United States,” Patrick Hogan, business development manager for the the company, said Wednesday.

Still, there’s no firm timeline for construction of the company’s proposed plant north of Middlebury that would manufacture green energy-generating equipment, employing up to 500. The timing, he told a group in Goshen, depends on finalization of negotiations with several would-be users of the equipment Energy-Inc. plans to make.

Though contract talks in connection with five potential projects are pending, the firm can’t start operating if it doesn’t have enough equipment to build. “It just depends on when the contracts get done,” Hogan said.

At the same time, talks continue with county leaders over Energy-Inc.’s $100 million proposal to develop a facility at the Elkhart County Landfill that would convert the waste there into energy. The county picked Energy-Inc. last December over two other firms to build and operate the waste-to-energy plant, setting a March 31 deadline for negotiation of a formal agreement.

“Literally it’s just working out the fine details on that,” he said. A final accord, which would require no county investment, could be coming “soon.”

‘WAVE OF THE FUTURE’

Energy-Inc.’s plans to build the manufacturing facility near Middlebury at a cost of up to $96 million came to light last August. The Las Vegas-based firm plans to build equipment at the plant that customers would buy or lease to convert the waste they generate into usable energy via pyrolysis or gasification.

Its landfill proposal is a separate project. However, the facility there would use the same technology Energy-Inc. plans to manufacture to convert incoming garbage into energy for use at the adjacent Elkhart County jail.

Delays in the Middlebury plans aside — a company official initially said production could start as early as last October, later moving the date to December — Hogan sounded an optimistic message Wednesday. He was addressing the monthly meeting of Sound of the Environment, a discussion group that focuses on sustainability issues.

“We obviously see this as great technology and the wave of the future,” he said.

Pyrolysis and gasification, by superheating the waste to be handled, leave behind only trace emissions, he said. The processes produce a synthetic gas that can be used to power generators or be converted into liquified form and shipped.

Moreover, by being the home base to operations like Energy-Inc. and electric auto manufacturer Think North America, Elkhart County bolsters its environmental credentials.

“To be honest, I think it’s a great marketing piece, not only for the county but for everybody,” Hogan said.

Here are some other highlights from Hogan’s presentation:

* Other firms are developing the same sort of technology as Energy-Inc. and it has been in use for eight years at a handful of facilities abroad. More and more firms tapping the potential of pyrolysis and gasification will probably pop up in the next two to five years, he thinks.

* No large-scale facility currently converts municipal garbage into energy, as Energy-Inc. proposes at the county landfill. One in the United Kingdom processes medical waste, though, and company officials are confident the process with plain old trash is viable. “That’s why we’re putting our money on it,” Hogan said, alluding to the proposed $100 million investment.

* The number of workers at the plant north of Middlebury wouldn’t start at 500, but would gradually ramp up toward the level as orders for Energy-Inc. equipment increase.

* Though the equipment from the plant near Middlebury would be geared to entities and operations that generate large quantities of waste, Hogan envisions a day when homeowners could use smaller units to convert their household waste into power.

Click here for more information about Energy-Inc.

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