Bio-en CLC Meeting Minutes, 6 November 2013

These minutes were mirrored on 2 March 2014 from (PDF file, 3.6 MBytes).

CLC Meeting November 6, 2013 – Minutes

  1. Call to Order

    Earl Brubacher called to order the meeting of the CLC in the Dodie Hummel Room at the Township of Woolwich offices in Elmira at 7:00pm.

  2. Roll Call

    The following persons were present:
    Earl Brubacher, Marg Tassy Kreller, Robert Musselman, Earl Martin, Michael Purves-Smith, Doug Thomas, Bob Gray.

    Absent: Kevin Martin, Jerry Heidburt

  3. Approval of minutes of September 10, 2013 meeting

    Earl Brubacher presented the minutes and asked if there were any comments or questions.

    Questions & Comments:
    In section V, last paragraph, last sentence, change the word “mediate” to “mitigate”.

    Motion to accept the minutes – Doug Thomas, seconded by Earl Martin. Carried

  4. Woolwich Bi-En – Construction update

    Earl Brubacher advised that construction on the pre-treatment tanks and one digester is complete, the forms for the second digester are going up. In the next few days, the floor for the repository tank will be poured. The building is being enclosed, siding and roof are being put on. There is a lot of activity inside the building with the various trades.

    Chuck Martin was in the audience and commented that someone had asked him about the height of the structures; Chuck advised that the height of the building construction to date should be as high as it gets. Earl Brubacher commented further that the flare stack will be double the height of the highest building. Earl added that the building is about 14 metres high and the stack will be 28 metres high.

    The actual building construction has slipped a little behind schedule, but construction should be complete towards the end of January. When construction is complete, Chuck Martin advised that the start-up of the digester is a gradual process. It will take some time to get the digester and electricity production running. Feedstock material must be added, gas generation needs to reach a certain volume, testing needs to be performed, hookup to the electricity grid needs to be done, and further testing must be completed.

    Question from the floor – how long will it take from adding material to generating electricity? Chuck Martin replied that the company’s experience with the Hanover project was really good, and it took 30 days. However, the company does not expect that the Woolwich Bio-En project will be that quick. Earl Brubacher estimated the start-up phase will likely take up to three months. Electricity generation will likely begin in late February or early March, with testing as it is fed to the grid. Initial electricity production will be approximately 15%-20% of capacity, and increasing to full capacity over six to nine months as sufficient gas of the right mix gets generated by the digester.

  5. Questions arising from previous meetings:

    Michael Purves-Smith distributed the draft communication / presentation to be made to the Township of Woolwich Town Council regarding the request for the Township of Woolwich to provide a letter of credit in the amount of $25,000 to the benefit of the CLC, matching the letter of credit to be provided by Bio-En Power, to be used for payment of technical engineering or scientific advice about, or review of, the operations of the biogas facility.

    Chuck Martin made some comments – he advised he read through the draft and supports it in general. However, in the “Comments from the CLC” section, third paragraph, the sentence “The CLC was set up to monitor the safe operation of the plant and to act as a liaison with the community…”, Chuck agreed that the CLC is a liaison with the community, but it was not set up to monitor the operations of the biogas plant. The CLC can have concerns about the operations, but it is not the role of the CLC to monitor. In this regard, Chuck advised he could not support that statement. Chuck is prepared to participate in the approach to Town Council and support the position of the CLC in requesting the matching letter of credit. After further discussion, it was agreed by all that the words “to monitor the safe operation of the plant and” be deleted.

    Michael Purves-Smith continued with some questions: (1) should the communication be sent to Town Council in advance of presenting at a Council meeting? (2) should it be sent to the two newspapers in town?, and (3) should it be sent to the members of the Bio-En Citizens group that launched the appeal? The purpose of the advance notice would be informative only, so that all parties are aware of the request before approaching Council.

    Robert Musselman commented that if the CLC submits to make a representation to Council, a copy of the communication will automatically be provided to all councillors prior to the Council meeting.

    Regarding (2), the consensus was to defer pre-release to the media, and allow newspapers to report on the issue as part of their coverage of the Council meeting.

    It was agreed that the individuals of the Bio-En Citizens Group should be notified that the CLC is following up and will be approaching Town Council in advance of making the request to Town Council.

    The next question posed – who will approach Council? Discussion ensued, Chuck Martin would attend on behalf of the company. It was suggested that only two CLC members make up the delegation, with only one CLC member to speak, the other CLC member to attend in support only. All CLC members are free to attend the meeting as a member of the general public, but the delegation from the CLC should be limited to two persons.

    Other questions raised as a result of the subcommittee meeting:
    Who is responsible for publicizing the existence of the CLC?

    The company is responsible for arranging and notifying the CLC members of meetings, publish the notifications on the company website, and publishing the minutes of the meetings on the company website.

    The CLC members agreed to submit the request for the letter of credit to Town Council at the next Council meeting. Michael Purves-Smith will contact the Township Clerk to request a date to present to Council, and Earl Brubacher will coordinate with Chuck Martin’s schedule once the date is determined.

    Robert Musselman asked if the company could provide the letter of credit prior to the meeting with the Town Council? Earl Brubacher advised that the letter of credit is not due until commencement of operations; however, the company could provide a letter confirming that the letter of credit will be in place at that time.

    Michael Purves-Smith enquired about a tour of the facility. Earl Brubacher replied it is still a construction site, but that possibly towards the end of December or early January might be a good time to provide a tour of the facility, for CLC members only.

    In determining the date for the next meeting, it was discussed if it would be a good idea to have a tour of the facility for the CLC members prior to the next meeting. After further discussion, it was agreed that a tour date would be set at the next meeting.

  6. Other Business

    No other business.

  7. Next Meeting:

    Tuesday January 7, 2014 at 7:00pm

    Location – A meeting room at The Woolwich Community Centre (meeting room to be determined based on availability).

    The public are welcome to all meetings.

  8. Adjournment

    Motion to adjourn by Doug Thomas, seconded by Robert Musselman. Carried.

    Earl Brubacher adjourned the meeting at 7:50pm.