Plasco Energy Group secures MSW feedstock agreement with Ottawa

By Luke Geiver | December 20, 2012

The City of Ottawa has signed an agreement with Plasco Energy Group Inc. to supply 109,500 metric tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) per year to the company for use in a waste conversion facility. Plasco will begin construction on the facility in the second half of 2013. The facility will employ the Plasco Conversion System, a plasma gasification-based technology, to convert the MSW feedstock provided by the city into a syngas product, resulting in roughly 15 MW of electricity to be sold to the grid. The waste conversion facility capacity will be roughly 150,000 metric tons per year.

The city has also leased the site location to the company and will pay Plasco a tipping fee for each metric ton processed of $83.25, according to the company. The electricity generation portion of the process will utilize a General Electric Jenbacher internal combustion engine along with a steam turbine powered by heat created from the process.

Plasco began in 2005 with only eight employees, according to Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, and today has over 150. In 2008, the company ran a pilot facility to prove the technology.

The company’s non-incineration process does not use plasma torches directly on the feedstock, but instead used plasma to refine the gases released from the gasification process, according to the company. The limited torch interaction helps to lower the electricity demand, resulting in a net energy production process that converts 95 percent of the waste, according to the company.