ELLSWORTH — The Municipal Review Committee (MRC) announced Aug. 13 that an exclusive agreement with Delta Thermo Energy (DTE) to purchase a solid waste plant in Hampden has ended, after DTE missed several deadlines to provide financial documents. DTE was chosen from seven potential buyers of the plant on Jan. 19.
The facility has been shuttered since April 2020 when former owners Coastal Resources of Maine could not find additional investment funding needed to continue operations, after opening in mid-2019. The plant was placed in receivership by court-appointed bondholders, with trash from MRC’s 115 member towns sent to Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. (PERC) or landfilled, and the MRC and bondholder trustee searching for buyers.
MRC, the bondholders and DTE signed a memo of understanding on March 31 that gave DTE an exclusive option to purchase the plant. At that time MRC was hopeful of a June 30 closing.
MRC Executive Director Michael Carroll said DTE had failed to show adequate proof of financing despite deadlines being extended several times.
“DTE will still have the opportunity to close on its financing in accordance with the MOU, but the bondholder trustee also will be able to evaluate proposals from other entities,” Carroll stated, adding that DTE has now terminated the memorandum of understanding but plans to still pursue financing for the purchase.
The MRC held board meetings July 28 and Aug. 10, plus a town hall-style meeting on Aug. 5, to discuss the progress — or lack thereof — in completing the deal with DTE. Another meeting was scheduled for Aug. 16, with discussion held in executive session that is closed to the public.