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Friday, January 29th, 2016  |  USD: Buy 531.29 / Sell 543.92
20 years

U.S. firm to invest $390 million to convert solid waste into electricity

Waste Electric, WasteElectric

April 28th, 2014 ( Costa Rica could soon be home to the largest solid waste gasification plant in Central America, according to U.S. firm, Waste Electric.


According to company spokesperson Adrian Meza, construction of the $390 million plant, which would convert solid waste into electricity, could begin in about four months and would take about two years to complete.  The firm is currently awaiting the proper permits from the National Environmental Secretariat (SETENA).


At full capacity, the plant would produce enough electricity to power 108,000 homes, which would be sold to the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE).


The 40,000 square meter plant is to be built on 11 hectares within the Coyol Free Zone in Alajuela.


The plant would take some of the 4,000 tons of solid waste generated daily in the country and turn it into electricity through a process called gasification.  The waste used by the plant would ordinarily end up in landfills.

costa rica news

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  • disgusted

    Seems to be a huge investment and undertaking. $390 million just to build and then only supply enough for 100,000 residents, in two years and then only when at full capacity . That in itself would cost 3.9 million dollars per household. I know it’s over a long projected time period. Plus transporting thousands of Tons of raw sewage to the plant everyday as well. I wonder where the money coming from???

    I hope USA not involved financing such a project. Or is this one of the carbon neutral eviromental green project under written by IMF or some other. Good luck doing business here with CR and ICE… Just thinking out loud probably don’t know what I am talking about I thought they ((U.S. firm, Waste Electric)) were in recycling electronic waste, I guess power generation as well. .

    • DaveP

      Definitely something wrong with the math here. 3.9 million per house, even if you said it was over 100 years its still not right… US companies rarely invest in project that don’t have any potential of making money :D

      • Timothy Williams

        $390 million divided by 108,000 homes = $3,611 per home.

        If the average home spends $30/month on electric, they would have their $390 million back in 10 years on revenues of $38.8 million per year (not counting their operating costs, of course). It would probably be in the black in 15 years would be my guess.

        • Timothy Williams

          Their operating costs would probably be pretty darn low too – they produce their own electricity and the feedstock – solid waste – I’m sure won’t cost them much.

          • Karen Mata

            Mr. Williams, what happened to John, the prior owner of ICR?

          • Timothy Williams

            Karen, there never was a John who owned ICR. There was a previous writer/columnist who contributed often to ICR under its prior ownership, however.

            ICR was previously owned by a a man named Enrico. We took over ownership on September 1st, 2012. John did not stay with ICR, and I’m unaware of where or what he may be doing today.

          • Karen Mata

            Thanks for the reply. He had contributed here for many years.

          • Ken Morris

            I don’t have a dog in this hunt, but my instincts tell me that operating costs will be way higher. What kind of enterprise can operate on less than 40% of revenues and make over a 60% annual profit? This is pretty much what your 15-year scenario assumes (with the first 15 years of profits going to pay off the initial capital investment). If your estimate is close to accurate, I’m going to contact the company and try to get a piece of the investment action. Their website says that they’re looking for investors.

        • disgusted

          Yikes!!! my math all screwed up. so under 4k per household. Thanks for setting me straight, I will edit my comment. Shame on me!

          • Timothy Williams

            It happens to us all! :)

  • scottm

    I may be wrong but I think they may get paid for the “disposal” of the waste as well.

  • El Torito

    Oh goody! Utility service that is truly shitty from the get-go!

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