The Renewable Environmental Solutions plant in the industrial bottoms area of north Carthage has changed hands.
A Canadian firm, Ridgeline Energy Services, based in Calgary, Alberta., acquired Changing World Technologies, the parent company of the RES plant, and all its “partnership interests” from Global Emerging Markets for $35 million.
Dennis M. Danzik, CEO of Ridgeline, in a written release, said the Carthage plant is “a world class facility that completes the Company's transition into a fully integrated waste water business. Our existing Ridgeline technologies for waste water treatment and the production of the resulting effluent into diesel equivalent fuel is now proven. These two assets are expected to continue to grow revenues and profitability.”
Jim Fuller, manager at the Carthage plant, said there will be no changes in the operation of the plant, aside from new waste water treatment equipment that was installed by Ridgeline last month to improve the plant's efficiency.
Fuller said the plant processes waste water into water and a fuel oil that can be burned in boilers.
He said about 30 people work there currently.
Ridgeline said Monday's release marked the finalization of the acquisition of Changing World Technologies and RES.
In the transcript of a business update conference call last month between Ridgeline CEO Dennis Danzik and Chairman Tony Ker and investment analysts, Ridgeline said it was buying the plant and Changing World Technologies for $15 million in stock and $20 million in debt.
In that call, the company said it was installing new waste water treatment equipment at the plant to allow the operation there to continue to grow. The company said it expected the new equipment to be operational in mid March.
Danzik explained that the Carthage plant had been a money loser in the past, losing as much as $300,000, but his company hoped to turn that around with better management and more efficient equipment.
“Things prior to November, I can tell you that revenues were in some cases less than half of where we are today,” Danzik told analysts, according to a transcript of the conversation. “And of course, it was a negative number every month. We are cash-flow positive at that property and the wastewater equipment that's being installed this month will secure its good fortune into the future.”
The plant had been the subject of controversy from the time it opened to great fanfare in 2004 until it was closed in 2009 when Changing World Technologies went bankrupt.
During that time, the plant had been processing turkey remains from the nearby Butterball plant into fuel oil, but foul odors from RES and the company's apparent inability to control those odors despite new equipment prompted huge numbers of complaints to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and a lawsuit by residents.
Page 2 of 2 - The plant reopened in 2011 using other source material and has operated relatively complaint-free since.
Earlier this year, a number of employees were laid off as part of a reorganization that officials said was part of a change in management.