Sbsun article on more failed Rialto city administrators games coupled with the false idea that green technology will ever create REAL JOBS.
Wouldn’t it be nice to know whos idea this was?
EnerTech energy plant in Rialto closes
RIALTO – A renewable energy plant once touted as a cutting-edge facility that would bring jobs and revenue to the city has closed.Atlanta-based EnerTech Environmental Inc. will no longer turn biosolids into a coal substitute at a landfill on the south edge of town.
Geoff Berman, a vice president of Los Angeles-based Development Specialists Inc., which is working with EnerTech on a liquidation process, said the company closed Oct. 5.
“We have not determined what the process is going to be for the liquidation of the plant,” Berman said.
EnerTech made a splashy debut in June 2009 when officials with the company and city showed off the $160 million plant.
At full capacity, the plant was supposed to generate more than 60,000 tons of renewable fuel annually that would offset more than 80,000 tons of greenhouse emissions.
EnerTech on its now-shuttered website said the project created more than 20 short- term construction jobs and operation of the plant would carry more than 20 “ongoing positions.”
The company’s partners included the city as well as the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, San Bernardino Municipal Water Department, the city of Riverside and the Orange County Sanitation District.
But the plant at 503 E. Santa Ana Ave. never gained traction. The facility was shut down temporarily last October so improvements could be made.
Plant officials said at the time that larger pollution-control devices needed to be added so that production could increase while keeping emissions negligible.
They also said the project had engineering calculations that didn’t work out in the plant’s real-world chemistry.
The Orange County Sanitation District earlier this year ended its contract with EnerTech, saying the company was in default of a 2006 agreement, based on EnerTech’s “failure to complete the Interim Technical Plan by the deadline of June 11, 2012.”
The sanitation district then directed staff to stop all shipments of biosolids to EnerTech’s plant here.
In an agenda report, James D. Ruth, the general manager of the sanitation district, said since the start-up of EnerTech’s facility in Rialto, it “has only processed one-third of its contractual commitment due to technical problems.”
Ruth also said EnerTech faced multiple issues with the new equipment and needed more time for testing.
He went on to say that “After almost four years of operation and fixes, EnerTech has not been able to demonstrate that this technology is reliable in the short or long term.”
When the plant made its debut, officials here projected that utility and property taxes from the facility, a share of EnerTech’s sales, and fees charged to contracted cities and counties would net the city about $8 million over 20 years.
“At this point, I think whatever we projected isn’t going to materialize,” said Robb Steel, assistant to the city administrator and development services director.
Steel said the city has had casual inquiries from prospective users of the plant. Rialto is in talks with Berman over its future.
“It could include an auction or a sale to a turn-key buyer,” Berman said.