Fiberight begins construction of waste processing facility

By Erin Voegele | March 28, 2014

Waste-to-energy firm Fiberight LLC is beginning construction of its waste processing facility in Marion, Iowa. “We are now building,” said Craig Stuart-Paul, chief executive of the company, noting that workers are scheduled to be onsite April 7.

On March 20, the Marion City Council approved a resolution to establish a development agreement with Fiberight, which includes tax increment financing (TIF) payments not to exceed $850,000. Prior to the vote, the city council held a brief public hearing on the matter. Development of the waste processing facility is expected to support the creation of 27 new jobs in the community.

Stuart-Paul noted that the development agreement with Marion is one of several fundraising components that are now allowing the project to move forward. “The biggest issue for us has just been money, but we’ve been able to stitch together a bunch of equity and tax credits, tax incentives, grants and loans to make it a reality,” he said, commenting on Fiberight’s journey to develop its commercial scale waste-to-ethanol project. 

The Marion facility will be one element of the company’s hub and spoke approach. According to Stuart-Paul, Winbco has been selected as the general contractor for the project, while Amec was named construction management engineer.

“We are providing an alternative waste disposal solution for the city of Marion and Cedar Rapids,” Stuart-Paul said. Trucks will deliver trash to the facility, where it will be partially process before it is shipped to the Blairstown facility for conversion into ethanol. In addition to isolating biofuel feedstock from municipal solid waste (MSW) Fiberight’s technology also separates recyclable components, such as plastics and metals. The company is in negotiations to build a similar waste recycling plant in Iowa City.

Both the Marion waste sorting facility and the Blairstown ethanol plant are expected to be operational this year. Stuart-Paul noting that his company has more than 4,000 hours of experience operating the technology, which was gained as its demonstration facility in Virginia. “We know that all of the unit operations, the integration, all the core elements work very well,” he said.