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Trash-to-Gas Co. a Go After EPA Vetoes Ecology
Beginning in a little more than a week, Green Power Inc. will be
commencing the building of municipal-solid-waste-to-fuel plants for clients
around the world, with $2 billion in contracts; now that an EPA ruling has
exonerated GPI from an unnecessary shut-down order by the Washington Ecology
Department last year.
Pure Energy Systems News
Copyright © 2010
This is a photo I took in May 2008 when I
visited the plant just after it was first operational.
Note: I have a relationship with GPI, so this report is not truly
In a little more than a week from now, on November 29, Green Power
Inc. (GPI) of Pasco, Washington, who has a technology to turn
municipal solid waste (MSW) into synthetic liquid fuel and electricity, plans to
begin the manufacturing of plants in fulfillment of orders from around the
world. The photo on the right shows their 100 ton/day pilot plant.
This fuel would be of higher quality and cheaper than fuel derived from crude
oil -- and it comes from local feedstock, while turning waste into energy.
Green Power claims it manufactures equipment that can convert 100 tons of garbage into 12,000 gallons of diesel fuel at 78 cents a gallon.
So not only would the fuel be cheaper, but it doesn't come from countries who
aren't always so friendly, mitigating these unsavory international
dependencies. It addresses the pollution problem, and the energy problem,
and the political tension problem. "We would not need to import any foreign oil if we could turn
our municipal waste stream into fuel," GPI's CEO, Michael Spitzauer has
I classify waste-to-energy
as a form of "free
energy" because as long as there are humans on this planet there will
be waste, and often in the case of waste there is actually a tipping fee for the
feedstock, providing revenue on that end as well. And if we ever get to
the point of using all our waste as feedstock for such processes, we will still
have plenty of landfills to clean up, not to mention the huge gyres
of plastic waste the size of Texas in the oceans.
Spitzauer, says that GPI has over $2 billion dollars in signed contracts for GPI
plants, including in Vietnam, Spain, France, Yugoslavia, and a very large
installation in South America to be launched in April. He said GPI has
money in the bank from the S. American contract, for example, ready to finance
immediate construction. The civil work has been done locally. Ground
has been graded, concrete poured, foundations laid.
On September 17, a Bosnian newspaper reported
url) that the director of the Slovenian company 'Green power', Zoran Petrovic, told reporters that the company will
employ 50 workers (in its construction), and that the plant should become operational in the second half of next year.
In August of 2009, GPI was shut
down by Washington state's Ecology Department who said GPI had
"not provided adequate compliance with the environmental air quality
regulations." This was cleared on September 8, 2010 by an EPA
ruling that support's GPI's claim and reverses Washington state's Ecology Department's
claim that placed the GPI process in the class of incinerators, which it is
not. According to the EPA
"Green Power describes its process as a proprietary catalytic
pressure-less depolymerization process (CDP) where municipal solid waste or a
wide variety of organic wastes are 'cracked' at the molecular level and the
long-chain polymers (plastic, organic material such as wood, etc.) are
chemically altered to become short-chain hydrocarbons with no combustion.
Combustion requires oxygen or a similar compound, but according to Green Power
the CDP occurs in an anaerobic environment, exposed only to inert gases like
As I wrote
in September of 2009: "From what I can gather, it is a situation of a company that is easily in
compliance with the spirit of the law, but which has not satisfied the minutia
of the bureaucratic hoop-jumping required." Getting the Ecology
Department's official reversal of their shut-down order is expected to
materialize next week.
Also next week, GPI will be advertising its job openings in the local
newspapers. By the end of the first quarter of 2011, GPI expects to be
employing nearly 700 people to be involved in building the plants to be shipped
to their plant customers around the world. For those of you willing to
consider relocating, this might be an opportunity for you to get work doing
something in renewable energy. You can go to their website to see a list
of openings and apply.
Spitzauer says he hasn't been entertaining U.S. contracts in the last year or
so, though there have been plenty of inquiries and people standing in
line. He said this hiatus is because of the hamstringing that the Ecology
department has been imposing. However, he still retains a patriotism
toward the country in general, wanting the plants to be stamped: "Made in
He said he has already spent more than $150 million dollars on this project,
none of which has come from the government. Most of that was
spent building the pilot plant in Pasco, which the Ecology department shut down,
and which the EPA has now overturned. "It's a major victory,"
said Spitzauer, who had to plow a lot of money into lawyers to defend their
This past year has been a challenging one for GPI. The actions of the
Ecology department have made it difficult for GPI to make its financial
A news report is slated to come out from the local Tri-City News Tribune berating Spitzauer and GPI for some of these and other
shortcomings. Spitzauer told me that "all money being owed will be
settled by the end of the year." On Monday he is scheduled to sign a contract for a new lease with the Port of
Pasco. GPI already paid all of the back payments owed for their facility.
Part of the delay from the time of the EPA ruling has been getting pollution
insurance, as part of the Port contract.
Most people would have folded under the pressure of all the setbacks Spitzauer
has encountered (many of them self-imposed due to his laid-back nature in a
punctual world). And some of these stresses are likely involved in the
serious health issues Spitzauer has faced and still struggles with. But he
is not giving up.
Spitzauer has arranged operations at GPI so that he is not
"I love this project. We have put our life into this."
# # #
LINKS TO THIS STORY:
- Green Power wants a second chance
- The company, which says it can make high-quality fuels from solid
municipal waste, recently was evicted from its leased premises at the Big
Pasco Industrial Center for defaulting on rent after its landlord -- the
Port of Pasco -- won a court judgment. (Tri-City Herald; Sept. 9,
try again, says Pasco's Green Power | Business - The News Tribune
Karen Wood, who supervises the state air quality program,
said Michael Spitzauer , chief executive officer for Green Power,
applied for the permit in ... (Sept. 10, 2010) (The
biomass company plans to reopen
Columbia Tri City Herald
Michael Spitzauer owns Green Power, which was evicted from its Port of Pasco
plant in September, and also was ordered closed by the state Department of
... (Tri-City Herald; Nov. 21,
Times / AP) (Bellingham