Kansas Mall Demonstration Begins

The Kent County, Michigan Board of Public Works has approved a Project Development Agreement (PDA) with Kent County Bioenergy Facility, a joint venture (JV) between Continuus Materials and Anaergia.

Kent County, which is in southwestern Michigan and includes Grand Rapids as its largest city, says the deal “is now fully executed.” The two companies have partnered to respond to a Kent County RFP for an anchor tenant in its planned 250-acre sustainable business park adjacent to the South Kent Landfill in Byron Center, Michigan.

The PDA is described by the county as the next step in the development of “a multi-faceted mixed waste processing facility capable of processing 430,000 tons of municipal solid waste and recyclables each year to produce renewable natural gas, fertilizers and recyclables.

Canadian company Anaergia has what Kent County calls “a proven track record on four continents in turning organic waste into renewable natural gas and fertilizer using high-efficiency anaerobic digestion.”

Texas-based Continuus Materials will produce a roofing material, called Everboard, onsite from what the county calls “low-value plastics and paper.” The plan calls for other recycling and material processing companies to set up around the park’s main tenant.

“We are delighted to take the next step in a public-private partnership to help us achieve our goal of diverting 90% of waste from South Kent landfill by 2030,” said Kent Chairperson Emily Brieve. County Board of Public Works. “The PDA’s approval is the culmination of years of evaluation and due diligence to find the right company that worked well for our community with proven technology. Now the real work begins to set costs, schedules and site maps.

The PDA will guide the DPW and the Kent County Bioenergy Facility over the next 18 to 36 months until the project can be fully contracted and funded, the county said. “If all goes as planned, the facility could be operational in about three years,” according to Kent County.

This plan currently calls for Kent County to make a $70 million investment through a bond that would be repaid through tipping fees and shared revenue from materials produced in the park. The Kent County Bioenergy Facility joint venture would invest approximately $280 million and operate the facility.

The State of Michigan recently allocated $4 million in its 2021-2022 budget to approximately $19 million for site preparation and planned infrastructure work.

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Peggy P. Gilmore