Covanta acquires Maine biomass-to-energy facilities

By Bryan Sims
Web exclusive posted August 28, 2008 at 3:56 p.m. CST

Fairfield, N.J.-based Covanta Holding Corp. has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase two biomass-to-energy facilities in Maine from co-owners Ridgewood Maine LLC and Indeck Energy Services Inc.

Located in West Enfield and Jonesboro, the two nearly identical facilities will add 49 gross megawatts to Covanta's renewable energy portfolio, which currently includes six biomass facilities and 38 energy-from-waste facilities in North America, Europe and Asia.

"Our overall interest is a portfolio of renewable energy type projects and energy from waste being the largest, but biomass is also a fuel source that fits very well within that emphasis on renewable energy," said Marisa Jacobs, Covanta's vice president of investor relations and corporate communications.

Covanta agreed to acquire the two facilities for approximately $87 million. The transaction will be funded from cash on hand and/or by drawing upon its existing revolving loan facility.

The acquisition is expected to increase Covanta's gross electrical capacity by 35 percent. Covanta intends to tap into the New England utility markets by selling electrical output to the public grid and sell renewable energy credits from the newly acquired facilities.

Closing of the acquisition remains subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and conditions as well as approval by Ridgewood's shareholders. Jacobs said that the company expects the deal to be finalized by the end of 2008.

"We're very excited about this acquisition," Jacobs said. "We think it is a good expansion of our strategy. We are interested in growing through both acquisitions and the expansion of existing facilities as well as development of new facilities so we really have a three-pronged growth strategy."

Covanta is an internationally recognized owner and operator of large-scale waste-to-energy and renewable energy projects. Annually, Covanta's modern facilities convert more than 16 million tons of waste into approximately eight million megawatt hours of clean renewable electricity and create 10 billion pounds of steam that are sold to a variety of industries.