Forsite Development selects Charlotte company for fuel facility

by Andrew Batten

CHARLOTTE – Forsite Development has teamed with FCR Recycling to design and operate a $30 million recycled fuel facility at the closed Statesville Avenue Landfill site at Interstate 85 and Statesville Avenue Road.

FCR will turn garbage from Mecklenburg County into fuel to power the proposed 30-megawatt biomass power plant at Foresite Development’s planned ReVenture Park. The 667-acre industrial park is being developed on the former Clariant Corporation’s chemical plant site at Belmeade Drive and Mount Holly Road.

Forsite President Tom McKittrick announced the partnership at the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce’s fourth annual Green Conference held Thursday, Oct. 21, at Pine Island Country Club.

Charlotte-based FCR will remove recyclables, electronics and batteries from the waste stream before shredding the garbage and transporting it to the ReVenture site, where it would be burnt to power a steam turbine, McKittrick said.

The local chapter of the N.C. Sierra Club, have complained that the power plant will cause unneeded pollution in the area, but McKittrick said the FCR will help create the cleanest fuel possible to use in the plant.

“Creating clean fuel to start with is the most important part of our project,” McKittrick said. “We are not burning garbage, we are using garbage to create a fuel.”

The facility also will divert approximately 340,000 tons of waste annually from local landfills, McKittrick added. The project will create more than 100 new jobs and is slated to be operational by April 2012.

City officials and Foresite Development are negotiating a land swap that would exchange the city’s former landfill on Statesville Avenue for a portion of the ReVenture property.

In exchange, Reventure would give the city land at the Clariant site near the city’s proposed Longcreek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. Securing that land would keep Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities from needing to build a new road to the treatment plant off Whitewater Center Parkway.

As part of the agreement, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities would treat contaminated groundwater from the Clariant site. Companies that Clariant acquired polluted the site from the 1930s to the 1970s by dumping vat dyes, disperse dyes and specialty chemical products into unlined pits.

Meanwhile, the county’s ReVenture Advisory Council is investigating whether the county should pay Foresite Development to take its trash for the power plant.

The council’s next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. at the Hal Marshall Center, 700 N. Tryon St., in uptown Charlotte.

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