Waste Management announces it has taken an equity position in InEnTec Inc. by exchanging its equity interest in S4 Energy Solutions LLC (S4), for an equity position in InEnTec. S4 was formed by the parties in 2009 to design, construct and operate a waste gasification plant using InEnTec’s Plasma Enhanced Melter (PEM) technology.
“Changing our investment from a joint venture development into an equity position with InEnTec is more consistent with the company’s other portfolio investments,” says Joe Vaillancourt, managing director for Waste Management’s Organic Growth Group. “We are committed to the advancement of the PEM® technology and look forward to the operation of the 25 ton per day commercial demonstration plant at our facility in Arlington, Oregon.”
The construction of the Arlington plant was recently completed and the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has issued all permits necessary to begin the operation of the plant.
“We are delighted that Waste Management has expressed its confidence in InEnTEc by becoming one of our largest shareholders,” says Karl A. Schoene, president and CEO of InEnTec Inc. “We will continue to enjoy the benefit of Waste Management’s experience and market presence as the demand for our PEM technology continues to grow.”
With the process, waste materials are fed into a closed chamber where they are superheated to temperatures of between 10,000 and 20,000 degrees Fahrenheit using an electricity-conducting gas called plasma. The intense heat of the process rearranges the molecular structure of the waste, transforming organic (carbon-based) materials into an ultra-clean, synthesis gas (syngas). The clean syngas could be converted to transportation fuels such as ethanol and diesel, industrial products like hydrogen and methanol or used as a substitute for natural gas for heating or electricity generation. In a secondary stage of the process, inorganic (non-carbon-based) materials are transformed into environmentally beneficial products.
Waste Management investment in InEnTec complements the company’s investments in other thermal conversion technology platforms including Enerkem, Terrabon and Agilyx. This agreement will also help move Waste Management toward meeting two of its sustainability goals: doubling its renewable energy production by 2020, and investing in emerging technologies for managing waste.