Laidlaw, Homeland energy companies form Homeland Laidlaw Energy

By Lisa Gibson
Posted September 24, 2009, at 10:50 a.m. CST

Laidlaw, Homeland energy companies form Homeland Laidlaw Energy
Lisa Gibson

Laidlaw Biopower LLC, an affiliate of Laidlaw Energy Group Inc., and Homeland Renewable Energy LLC have teamed up to form Homeland Laidlaw Energy LLC. The new company already has four biomass energy plants in development in Northeastern U.S.

The first project will be a 65-megawatt plant in Berlin, N.H., in a former Fraser Paper Mill. Once fully converted, the plant will run on 700,000 tons of wood chips per year, according to Laidlaw. The locations and details, including timelines, of the other three plants HLE will develop have not been released.

Homeland has agreed to make an equity investment in the joint venture to provide capital for development as well as proceeds to Laidlaw for the contribution of several of the company's development projects to the HLE portfolio. Rupert Fraser, president and CEO of Homeland Renewable Energy, declined to disclose the amount of the investment. Both companies will inject projects into HLE, but will continue operations separately, as well.

"We are very pleased to be working with the Laidlaw people," Fraser said. Laidlaw brings a pipeline for projects to the joint venture, while Homeland brings a management team, he said. Homeland's projects are in the southeast, dealing mainly with poultry litter, Fraser said. The joint venture expands the market opportunities and locations available to the company.

Homeland Chairman Jack Clarke will serve as chairman of the board for HLE, while Fraser and Homeland Chief Operating Officer Carl Strickler will serve on the board as corporate officers, according to the companies. Laidlaw President and CEO Michael Bartoszek will serve as president and CEO of HLE, while Laidlaw vice presidents Louis Bravakis and Raymond Kusche will serve on the board.

HLE headquarters will be in New York City, with offices in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and London.