BAR HARBOR — The shuttered waste-to-energy facility in Hampden formerly owned by Coastal Resources of Maine is now in the hands of the Municipal Review Committee after a judge approved the sale on Monday. A plan to get the plant back up and running could be solidified by the end of the year.
In June, the MRC bid on the facility after no other qualified bidders emerged, but a judge in Penobscot County Superior Court temporarily halted the sale after creditors objected. The MRC has since worked with those creditors to clear any remaining debts.
MRC then announced its plans to partner with New York-based Revere Capital Advisors to restart the plant. The MRC has entered into a 60-day exclusivity period, giving time for both parties to chart a way forward.
The plant, which has been closed since May of 2020 due to a lack of funding, was only operational for six months before it ran out of money.
The MRC oversees municipal solid waste disposal for its 114 member communities. The nonprofit owns the land on which the plant sits, but the facility and its contents had belonged to Coastal Resources of Maine. The MRC had been struggling with finding a buyer for the plant, which uses new technology to process waste and recyclables with a goal of 80 percent diversion from landfills. Under the terms of the latest agreement, the MRC will continue to own the plant and ultimately act as the landlord, and will have some say in its operation.
At a meeting of the MRC board of directors in late July, Patrick Daly and Nigel Ekern of Revere Capital Advisors said that the hedge fund company has a broad investment portfolio that includes health care, defense and technology assets. The company manages a pool of its own capital, has a series of partners that it invests with and conducts investment banking activities.
“Revere Capital Advisors has a team of very experienced financial professionals that looks for interesting situations to deploy capital, access its partners as well as its experience across a wide range of industries and interesting situations like this in areas of focus that we have experience in and are of interest to us,” said Daly, who serves as the company’s senior managing director.
Daly said Revere plans to contract with CS Solutions to provide the engineering services necessary to design, restart and operate the facility using the existing technology with some needed upgrades. From there, a series of third-party vendors will be employed to assist in plant operations.
During the 60-day period, Daly said Revere plans to focus on what needs to be done to get the plant restarted as quickly as possible. “That will involve engineering and operational issues and concerns, making sure that the capital is available in the right sequence to fund those situations, as well as … to optimize the reopening of the plant to meet peoples’ needs.”
Ekern said that the team at Revere began last week to address “technical fixes for the operational aspects of [the plant] and figuring out the timeframe and sequencing to get the plant reopen just as soon as possible where it will operate profitably.”
Once a way forward has been agreed to by the parties, a series of guiding documents will be created to outline the partnership and the responsibilities of the operations of the facility between the partners and various vendors.
Tipping fees are not expected to rise because of the changes in ownership, said Daly.