Harbour City Solutions selected to build Hamilton biosolids project

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sewage sludge
Hamilton's sewage sludge and turned into pellets for fertilizer or fuel.

Bird Construction Inc. says it is part of the Harbour City Solutions consortium selected as the preferred proponent to design, build, finance, operate and maintain, a biosolids management project for the City of Hamilton, Ontario.

The $106-million plant will turn the city’s sewage sludge into dry fertilizer, The Hamilton Spectator has reported.

Councillors voted 10-4 to pursue the 30-year, public-private partnership with the consortium that will build and run a plant to dry sludge and turn it into pellets for use as fertilizer or fuel. The federal government is contributing $25 million.

The city currently pays a contractor to inject the sludgy leftovers from its sewage treatment process into farm fields, The Spectator reported.

But public works head Dan McKinnon argued the plant will help kill pathogens in the sludge, dramatically cut truck traffic in and out of the Woodward Ave. treatment plant and cost no more over 30 years than current practices.

Bird has a 50 per cent interest in the construction joint venture that will design and build the project. It will also take a minority equity interest in the concession responsible for the design, construction, financing, operations and maintenance of the project through Bird Capital, a wholly owned subsidiary.

The facility will use a thermal drying process to produce pellets which will be used as fertilizer or fuel. The plant will process up to 60,000 wet tonnes per year of biosolids over the 30-year term of the contract.

The consortium plans to reach financial close in March of this year, with construction expected to commence shortly thereafter. At this time there can be no assurances that the consortium will receive a contract award related to this project.

“The company is very pleased to be selected as the preferred proponent to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Hamilton Biosolids Project,” said Ian Boyd, Bird’s president and CEO. “We are proud of our growing portfolio of environmental projects, particularly those procured under a public private partnership format.”

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