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Waste-to-energy company seeks more time for project because of pandemic

Fogdog Energy Solutions Inc. hoped to be operate by end of 2020 but asks for one-year extension

A Calgary company whose technology is supposed to divert almost all of Sylvan Lake’s waste from its landfill is seeking to delay its opening to the end of 2021 because of the pandemic.

Fogdog Energy Solutions Inc. says in a letter to the town that it was making a lot of progress, and a small demonstration unit was set to arrive in April, but it has now been delayed because of Italy’s COVID-19 restrictions.

Italy has been one of the hardest hit European countries, with more than 200,000 cases and 28,000 deaths.

Fogdog has agreed to build and operate what is known as a no-landfill disposal facility. It can convert 98 per cent of the nearly 500 tonnes of waste now heading into Sylvan Lake’s landfill every month. Glass and metals would be recycled separately.

Fogdog says it and its manufacturer have recently acquired United States Drug Administration approval for its technology.

“This supports our process in Canada tremendously,” says the letter from Fogdog representative Marlon Leehim.

The company is currently working on getting the necessary Canadian approvals.

Many of the companies Fogdog is working with have been shut down fully or partly because of the pandemic, and engineering and supply chains have also been affected, he said.

“Nobody expected this level of chaos, and we are doing as much as we possibly can to get things finalized, but the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic is affecting our process to be fulfilled in a timely manner with the Town of Sylvan Lake,” says Leehim, who said he is trapped outside of Canada with his wife and son because of the pandemic.

The company has asked for a six-month extension to its June 15 deadline to have its necessary approvals lined up. Fogdog also wants its operating startup deadline extended by a year to Dec. 31, 2021.

Town council voted to authorize its chief administrative officer to negotiate an amendment to the master services agreement first signed with Fogdog in January 2019.

John Watson, Sylvan Lake’s operations manager, suggests in a report to council that Fogdog be required to provide regular updates on its finances, the status of approvals, impact of coronavirus on the project, dates when equipment is expected to arrive and when other milestones are reached.

In the meantime, the town will continue its contract with the current garbage and recycling contractor.

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