A company based in Québec is trying to find a municipality in Prescott-Russell willing to become partners in a proposed high-tech project for waste disposal and energy production.
Jean-Claude Corbeil, president and main spokesman for DigestComp Inc., met with East Hawkesbury Township council August 14 to present a proposal for setting up his company’s PyroTech P50 project in the municipality.
Corbeil’s presentation followed on a similar one he made to Hawkesbury town council earlier this year and also to the United Counties of Prescott-Russell council (UCPR), seeking interest from either Hawkesbury or any one of the other municipalities within Prescott-Russell in serving as the host site for the project.
Corbeil described his company’s pyroliser system as « a very ecological system » for disposing of plastic, wood, and other refuse while also generating electricity for either community use or for sale to the provincial power grid. A pyroliser uses high-intensity heat to break down the chemical bonds of materials and reduce items to a clean ash.
During his presentation to East Hawkesbury council, Corbeil described the project as a regional venture that could see the pyroliser system itself set up in the township with a subsidiary biosolid collection depot in Alfred-Plantagenet Township to collect farm waste like manure for use as fuel for the pyroliser. When questioned by some council members, Corbeil said the biosolid collection site was still at the proposal stage and did not exist.
Corbeil’s company is looking for a private-public partnership arrangement for its pyroliser project. He told East Hawkesbury council that what his company wants right now is a letter of understanding from the township that would indicate a show of support for the project. Corbeil’s company could then use that letter of understanding to help with leveraging senior government funding aid for the project.
Corbeil also indicated that the pyroliser project could helpt the township with cleaning up a piece of property in St-Eugene that was an illegal dump site for a proposed private-sector recycling operation that never had official provincial government approval. The township took over ownership of the land for non-payment of taxes and has been looking into ways to dispose of all the refuse there.
East Hawkesbury council thanked Corbeil for his presentation but made no promise about the letter of understanding request. During a later phone interview, Mayor Robert Kirby indicated the proposal seemed interesting but he wonders about how the company plans to finance the project.
« It seems like it would cost a bit to get it going, » Mayor Kirby said.
The mayor also emphasized that if the township did provide any support for the project, it would not involve investing money.
« Not financial, » Mayor Kirby said. « There’ll be no financial support from the township.»
Hawkesbury council also indicated interest in Corbeil’s project but made no commitments. Several council members noted that the company would need to provide a positive feasibility study on its proposed project along with some indication of senior government financial support and approval.