The Municipal Review Committee, which represents the solid waste interests of 115 towns and cities in Maine, announced Wednesday that it has completed its $1.5 million purchase of the shuttered Coastal Resources of Maine waste-to-energy plant in Hampden, shown in 2019 when it was in operation. The MRC is looking to reopen the plant in nine to 12 months after it establishes a partnership with a financial firm. Courtesy of Fiberight/Coastal Resources of Maine

A committee representing the solid waste interests of 115 Maine municipalities announced Wednesday that it has completed the $1.5 million purchase of the shuttered Coastal Resources of Maine recycling and waste-to-energy plant in Hampden.

“We’re very excited that we’re finally here and we can control the destiny of this plant,” Municipal Review Committee Executive Director Michael Carroll said. “This is the only plant of its kind in the state and diversion rates are so high.”

The facility closed in May 2020 for financial reasons. Coastal Resources of Maine was formed by the international company Fiberight to finance, run and operate the facility. During the plant’s closure, about 25% of MRC members’ waste is taken to the Waste Management landfill in Norridgewock and the other 75% goes to the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. in Orrington.

Oakland is among the towns that are members of MRC. Town Manager Ella Bowman welcomed the sale announcement Wednesday.

“This is exciting news, not only for the town of Oakland and all the other supporting towns, but most importantly our environment,” Bowman said in an email. “Plain and simple, landfilling our trash is not the answer. The Fiberight process takes municipal solid waste to a whole new environmentally friendly direction and Oakland is proud to be a supportive community member.”

MRC owns the land on which the plant is located and, thus, served as its landlord, but construction of the facility itself was financed by out-of-state bondholders, or investment funds, whose trustee is the U.S. Bank National Association. The cost of construction was about $85 million, with $52 million of that provided through bond financing.


The bondholders had earlier tried to sell the plant with help from the MRC, but they were unsuccessful in finding a qualified buyer.

Carroll said Wednesday the MRC hopes to have the plant operational in nine to 12 months after a partnership is established with a financial entity.

The nonprofit MRC, made up of selectmen and other officials from its member municipalities, announced earlier this summer that it was in negotiations to partner with Revere Capital Advisors LLC in owning and operating the plant. The partnership agreement is expected to be finalized in September, but Carroll said Wednesday that the committee is working on its own financing as well, as part of a plan B.

He said he and others are excited to continue the mission for MRC members, with affordable, environmentally friendly waste solutions.

“It’s going to be a lot of hard work ahead, but we’re looking forward to the challenge,” Carroll said.

The MRC said in an email it distributed Wednesday that a bankruptcy court signed off on the sale last week. “After two long years of uncertainty, we are excited to take full control and make timely decisions on plant operations,” it said in the email.


Committee officials say they now can focus their energies on reopening under a new name, Municipal Waste Solutions, and processing municipal solid waste and recycling for its members.

“We look forward to sharing more positive news as we progress with restarting the facility,” the email said.

Under the draft terms, Revere would provide the capital needed to restart and operate the facility. It also would be majority partner in Municipal Waste Solutions, the LLC the MRC formed to purchase and own the plant.

Revere officials told the MRC recently that CS Solutions would be their intended contract vendor to provide engineering services in the restarting and operation of the plant. CS Solutions would have no role in ownership, financing or governance of the facility. Revere’s proposal does not rely on any state or local tax incentives, loan guarantees, credit enhancements or similar financial support, according to MRC officials.

CS Solutions has corporate ties to a private equity firm called Cate Street Capital, which attempted more than a decade ago to reopen the paper mill in Millinocket and another in East Millinocket, with the intention of launching a facility making wood pellets, the Portland Press Herald previously reported. The venture ultimately failed.

Revere reported it was confident CS Solutions’ technical and operating experience and expertise, as well as its Maine presence, would ensure the plant reopens and operates profitably by processing the projected municipal waste and recovering recyclables, producing pulp, and generating renewable gas as the plant was designed to do.

Other member MRC municipalities in central Maine include Albion, China, Freedom, Palmyra, St. Albans, Thorndike, Troy, Unity and Vassalboro.

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