Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Romania to get gasification plant

Henderson, Nev.-based Energy Quest (OTC: EQST) signed a memorandum of understanding with Romentino, Italy-based CO.F.A.M.M. to jointly own and construct a waste biomass-to-gasification plant in Romania.

The plant is expected to cost €73 million ($96 million USD) and take a year from the signing of the joint venture agreement to complete. Once the plant is fully operational, it is expected to convert 500 tons of municipal solid waste per day into 20 megawatts of power.

The gasification process uses heat and chemicals to convert carbon-based material into gas for fuel.

Construction is expected to start in January 2009. The parts for the facility are to be built in Italy, Canada and Romania before being assembled on site.

Energy Quest is expected to provide its technology while CO.F.A.M.M. will provide the biomass. The Italian company manufactures waste-sorting machines that separate household garbage to recover recyclable materials such as paper, aluminum and steel.

Wilf Ouellete, Energy Quest’s CEO, said that the waste-to-gasification facility would be a near-zero emitter of greenhouse gases. The company said it plans to build small-scale modular plants that can be used to convert any biomass into fuel to take advantage of incentives offered by the EU for such installations.

In March, Energy Quest signed a letter of intent with Chile’s Etanol del Pacifico Sur to build a $32 million waste biomass to gasification plant (see Energy Quest in biomass venture in Chile). Energy Quest would provide its proprietary technology while the Chilean company would provide waste from corn.

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