A $140 million agreement to fund the first phase of a 45 MW gasification waste to energy facility located in Alajuela, Costa Rica has been agreed with Capital Corp Merchant Banking.
According to the back, the full project will eventually amount to an investment totalling $400 million.
The funding agreement is based on 11% common stock and 89% debenture. The project consists of starting with a plant capable of generating 15 MW of electricity, after which it will build two additional plants each producing an additional 15 MW of electricity.
In 2010 the Costa Rican Ministry of Health ruled that municipalities would have to adopt sustainable and environmentally friendly means of processing municipal solid waste.
Capital Corp says that the planned facility has the capacity to divert 100% of waste from landfill, and once completed be able to handle 520,000 tons (472,000 tonnes) of gasifiable waste.
The low temperature gasification technology to be used in the plant comes from Australian renewable energy specialist, Entech Renewable Energy Solutions.
The heart of its WtGas system is the syn-gas production stage, where the its Pyrolytic Gasification Chamber receives the waste and subjects it to low temperature-substoichiometric gasification to heat and convert it into methane like gases.
The company says that the process is around 1/20th the air input and around 1/50th the velocity and turbulence of conventional combustion, which maximises the volatility of the syn-gas, plus minimises entrainment of pollution concerns into it.
The feedstock is processed over a period of around 16 - 24 hours and is subjected to regular churning and stoking.
The result is a syn-gas which is relatively clean and available for immediate utilisation without further refining or treatment. This is fired to heat boilers produce steam which will be used for electrical generation.
In common with many countries, Costa Rica facing a waste management problem and energy crisis; its landfill dilemma has social, economic, and environmental dimension.
Furthermore the country is currently struggling to keep up with increasing demand for electricity; its power production is limited, which has engendered setbacks in growth and both energy production and waste management have become highly politicised issues.
The bank claims that this project represents a long-term solution to both waste management and electricity production.
The project will also play a major role in Costa Rica's effort to reach its goal of becoming the world's first carbon neutral country by 2021.