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    Halifax clean tech firm wants to turn garbage into energy

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    A Halifax clean energy company is planning to use the region’s garbage as a source of electricity.
    Fourth State Energy wants to build a waste-to-energy plant that involves plasma gasification technology from France.
    Steve Mader, president and chief executive officer, said Tuesday the commercial facility could be operational in 2015.
    “Instead of putting waste into a landfill, you’re actually creating a fourth ‘R’ — recovery,” Mader said in an interview.
    “You’re making clean, renewable energy from something that you are burying today.”
    The plant would take municipal solid waste and heat it at high temperatures in a plasma arc furnace, breaking down complex hydrocarbons to produce synthetic fuel. The low-emission fuel would be used to power a generator at the facility.
    Most of the electricity would go on the grid, although some would be used to run the 100,000- square-foot plant.
    Fourth State Energy is talking to Nova Scotia Power about the prospect of buying electricity, Mader said.
    The plant would be able to generate 48 gigawatt hours per year for the grid, enough to power 5,000 homes.
    The Halifax project, which also involves subsidiary Nova Waste Solutions Inc., would also produce aggregate that could be used in road construction.
    Mader couldn’t put a price tag on the facility, which would employ about 50 people, or say where in the region it may be located.
    Company officials have been meeting with Halifax Regional Municipality representatives since February.
    A staff report on the project is expected next month, with the matter expected to go before municipal council in December, Mader said.
    The facility would handle about 400 tonnes of municipal solid waste per day. The municipality would pay a tipping fee but still save money, Mader said.
    “We’re proposing that they should close Otter Lake. If we took all their municipal waste, there would be no need for a landfill.”
    Meanwhile, Fourth State Energy announced a partnership Tuesday with CHO-Power to use the French company’s plasma gasification technology.
    Mader, who has a background in the pharmaceutical and environmental fields, said CHO-Power has been developing its technology since 2007. The French company, a subsidiary of the Europlasma Group, has a similar plant operating near Bordeaux, France, that processes 150 tonnes of waste per day, he said.
    Mader, who established the company four years ago with a group of local partners, said the Halifax project would be a prototype for other plants across Canada and around the world. The company has already had interest from the Caribbean and India, he said.
    Fourth State Energy has approached the province about the possibility of funding but has yet to receive a response, Mader said.
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