The Orrington incinerator that takes in most of the Bangor region’s household trash will close down for most of April for maintenance on the plant’s power line and turbine.
The Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. plant will close from April 5 to April 25, Plant Manager Henry Lang said Tuesday. During that time, the plant will be able to store some of the waste it receives on its tipping floor and in its reclaim areas, but much of it will go instead to the Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town after those areas in the plant fill up, Lang said.
PERC has taken in most of the Bangor area’s waste since last summer after the Coastal Resources of Maine plant in Hampden closed.
PERC’s shutdown for maintenance has been anticipated since November, Lang said. During the shutdown, Versant Power will work on the 50-year-old power line, through which the plant receives its power to operate and sends the power it produces into the electric grid.
The turbine maintenance, which Lang described as a “major overhaul,” is also fairly routine, and generally occurs every seven or eight years. Lang said he expects the plant will be back up and running on April 26.
“We can get a boiler warmed up, get the turbine back online, and start consuming material,” Lang said.
PERC takes in about 11,000 to 12,000 tons of waste a month, though it has seen the amount of municipal waste it receives temporarily drop in recent weeks, Lang said.
The temporary shutdown comes as the organization that represents the 115 towns and cities that were sending their waste to the plant in Hampden, the Municipal Review Committee, has been negotiating with a prospective buyer, the Pennsylvania-based Delta Thermo Energy.
Negotiations with Delta Thermo Energy are ongoing, Municipal Review Committee Executive Director Michael Carroll said Tuesday. He did not provide a potential reopening date.
While the Hampden plant’s reopening would translate into less municipal waste for PERC, Lang said PERC is ready to work with its potential competitor across the Penobscot River.
“We certainly have hope that we will be working with the MRC,” Lang said, “and that everybody will make this waste system work.”