Aquentium studies waste-to-energy plant feasibility in South Korea

By Lisa Gibson
California-based Aquentium, a public company that acts as a partner to assist its subsidiaries in securing capital, market share and revenues, recently began a feasibility study for implementation of a waste-to-energy plant in South Korea. The company expects the study to yield positive results and open the door for the development of a facility in the country, according to Mark Taggatz, Aquentium president and CEO. "We're pretty darn close to 100 percent certain," he said.

The study is based on a 1,000 metric-ton-per-day energy processing plant that could supply electricity for a few thousand homes, Taggatz said, adding that it's too early to determine an exact figure. "The main thing is feedstock and is there a supply," he said of the study. It will also include the cost, estimated at about $250 million, and byproducts such as potable water, he added. Electricity is first and foremost but byproducts can present another revenue stream, he said. A specific location for the facility has not been determined.

The company has ties in South Korea, Taggatz explained, so it started looking into the idea about a year ago. "We're making some progress," he said. South Korea is the 10th largest economy in the world, according to Aquentium, and the government there has a program to spend $45 billion over the next five years on environment projects. Aquentium's long-term goals involve more projects all over South Korea, including wastewater treatment technologies, Taggatz said. "We want to be able to do more green projects in the future for the country," he said. "There's more of a demand in the country than we can provide with just one project."

If the waste-to-energy study proves economically feasible and sustainable, Aquentium will proceed with construction, Taggatz said. "It would become our project." The next two months will be spent on the study, followed by three or four months on engineering and design. "I would hope by then we can get the exact design and start moving some dirt," he said.

-Lisa Gibson