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EQTEC North Fork biomass project reaches financial close

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EQTEC, a technology solutions company for waste gasification-to-energy projects, has announced its North Fork biomass project has reached financial close. The legal documentation for the proposed construction and operation of a 2MW biomass plant by North Fork Community Power was finalised and signed on 31 December 2019.

The biomass project was previously delayed in early November following a series of forest fires in California. In June 2019, Eqtec said it would purchase a 20% interest in North Fork Community Power on financial close of the project. Under the contract, the group will invoice a total of €2.2 million to North Fork Community Power for the sale of equipment and the supply of engineering and design services.

On commissioning, which is expected before the end of Q1 2021, the project is estimated to be valued at $20 million (€17.9 million), according to Eqtec, and be capable of generating additional revenue amounting to $4 million (€3.5 million). Eqtec’s chief executive David Palumbo said: “We are delighted that together with Phoenix Energy we have now achieved a financial close with North Fork.

“Despite facing challenges outside our control in the financial closing process, both teams worked relentlessly and creatively to achieve financial close by the year-end as was required.

“We see the funding of our first project in the US as an important milestone to attract funding for the rest of the Phoenix project pipeline and we believe the relationship will develop beyond the next four projects which are currently under exclusivity. We believe that there will be many more opportunities in California arising from the need to address the current critical situation facing the state with regards to forestry wood waste.

“We further believe that our partnership will provide further benefits going forward as we continue to implement our clear growth strategy in converting biomass into clean energy in the US.”

Gregory Stangl, CEO of Phoenix Energy, added: “Reaching financial close on our North Fork project is a crucial milestone for us. We have been working on this project for a number of years and faced many challenges.

“The partnership established with EQTEC has been instrumental to get us here. We will use the experience and network gained in the process to show that no other group is better placed to provide the solutions required by the state of California to address its forestry wood waste problem.

“Our team can now focus on the next two projects in our pipeline. The second will be self-funded and we have already initiated conversations with our funders for our third project. We face 2020 with a renewed enthusiasm and confidence that we could make a real difference for our environment and society.”