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RIVIÈRE-DU-LOUP | municipalities of the Bas-Saint-Laurent believed to make money with their scraps, but two years after the opening of their factory, this is not yet the case.
Approximately$ 28 Million, including$ 15.5 Million of the governments, have been invested to build the plant of biogas from Rivière-du-Loup. It was supposed to turn waste into table in liquefied natural gas. For the past two years, the plant loses $ 100,000 per month because it does not sell LNG, not being able to produce it.
For the moment, the waste is processed into biogas which is then burned.
Taxpayers and their private partner, therefore, have lost about$ 2 Million since the commissioning of the plant, due to a deficit of$ 5 Million, rather than the anticipated$3 Million.
“Yes, there are days where we are discouraged and days when one is impatient. It is a project that is technically very complex, ” admits Eric Tremblay, president of Terix-Envirogaz, the private partner who owns 20 % of the plant.
The problem will be resolved in the next two weeks, hope the administrators. However, it will take 3 to 5 years to catch up financially.
“We are 100% satisfied with the expectations of the MRC client in relation to the environmental aspect. There is an economic objective remains to reach, ” said Michel Lagacé, president of the SOW, Society of mixed economy, renewable energy, and prefect of the MRC of Rivière-du-Loup.
Breakdowns and bad luck
The centerpiece of the system that allows the cooling was broken twice. The company who provided it did repair it under warranty fairly quickly. There is, therefore, not subject to prosecution, according to administrators.
The delay is mainly due to a flooding in one of the cells of waste. Then the pipes of the uptake of the landfill site of Rivière-du-Loup are grouted, may be due to the flooding. The system has been shut down for several months.
“A factory, when it is stopped, it is like a car, it is hard to leave” sums it up simply Eric Tremblay.
A few minor problems presented themselves in the systems as the tests done because of a start-up in the series. Each time, it was necessary to repeat the steps.
“Everything is new. It is nice to put pressure, but you must leave people to work “, adds the mayor of Rivière-du-Loup, Sylvie Vignet.
The directors believe that liquefied natural gas will be produced within two weeks and that this time will be good. It is expected to make profits of $ 800,000 from 2021-2022.