The developers of a new $69 million waste-to-energy plant in Hampden say steel for the 144,000-square-foot building is expected to arrive this week, and that plans are on track for an April 1 opening.

Speaking to members of the Maine Resource Recovery Association in Brewer, Craig Stuart-Paul, CEO of Fiberight LLC, the company that will run the facility, said roadwork and other site preparation targets have been completed ahead of schedule.

“With luck, the shell will be up by mid-December, but it’s all about weather now,” Stuart-Paul said. “But by having the foundations in place and rock on the ground, we don’t have to worry about mud. So a lot of the work is ahead of schedule. So that certainly increases the chances of the building being up by Christmas time.”

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More than 115 communities have signed contracts with the Maine Review Committee, the working group that is partnering with the town of Hampden, the Sargent Corp. and CES engineering services to send their refuse to Fiberight when their existing contracts with the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. expire next year.

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Greg Lounder, executive director of the Maine Review Committee, which has partnered with Fiberight, said cities and towns that have contracted with the company will see few differences in their current home refuse policies. He said difficult-to-manage waste, such as tires, glass and textiles, will be processed elsewhere.

“We recognize that over time, we are going to be relying on a processing facility that manages things in a different way,” Lounder said. “We expect to learn from that.”

This report appears as part of a media partnership with Maine Public.