The now-shuttered Hampden waste plant is pictured in 2019. Credit: Courtesy of Fiberight

Four potential buyers are exploring a purchase of the shuttered Hampden waste plant after a Pennsylvania company negotiating to buy the facility lost its exclusive right to do so as it struggled to secure financing.

The entities have contacted the Municipal Review Committee requesting tours of the plant with a “potential eye toward purchase,” the committee’s executive director, Michael Carroll, told members on Friday. Two of those visits took place last week while another two are scheduled for this week.

The Municipal Review Committee owns the land on which the facility, which has been closed since May 2020, is located. It also represents the more than 100 Maine communities that send their waste to the plant.

Carroll did not name the entities or provide additional information about their operations.

“It is our hope that a deal to purchase the plant will conclude soon,” Carroll said.

The Municipal Review Committee told member communities earlier this month that Delta Thermo Energy, the Pennsylvania company that was negotiating a purchase, no longer had exclusive rights to buy the plant due to failure to secure financing.

Delta Thermo had been negotiating for more than six months, but failed “to meet several extended deadlines to produce proof of adequate financing,” Carroll said.

The U.S. Bank National Association, the trustee for the group of bondholders that have the ultimate right to sell the plant, continues to be in talks with Delta Thermo about securing financing, Carroll said. Delta Thermo has told the association that it is making progress.

With the Hampden plant shuttered, the majority of the communities’ trash has gone instead to the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. incinerator in Orrington while the remainder has been landfilled.

Before Delta Thermo lost its exclusive right to purchase the plant, which closed after six months of commercial operations that followed numerous opening delays, Municipal Review Committee board members had started showing their frustration with the Pennsylvania firm’s inability to secure financing.