Items go through sorting equipment at the Coastal Resources of Maine Hampden plant. Credit: Photo courtesy of Fiberight

A Penobscot County judge has cleared the sale of a shuttered Hampden trash plant to a group of Maine cities and towns, marking an important step toward reopening the facility that’s sat dormant for more than two years. 

Penobscot County Superior Court Justice William Anderson this week approved the sale of the facility to the Municipal Review Committee, the group that represents the 115 Maine towns and cities that used the plant in the six months it ran. The sale is set to be finalized next week. 

The Municipal Review Committee reached an agreement with the financiers of the facility earlier this year to launch a new bidding process. If no qualified bidders stepped forward, the financiers who funded the facility’s construction would have to accept the Municipal Review Committee’s so-called stalking horse bid, which came in at just a fraction of the overall cost of building the facility. 

Called Coastal Resources of Maine, the plant has remained dormant since May 2020, when it shut down after it ran out of funds.

As part of a final plan to sell the facility by the end of June, the financers — largely a collection of out-of-state investment funds — agreed to allow the Municipal Review Committee to place a last-resort offer worth just over $1 million. That offer is a fraction of the $52 million the bondholders paid toward the facility’s construction.

According to the Municipal Review Committee’s most recent financial report, it has already placed a $150,000 down payment on the facility. 

The group said Friday that, after the sale is finalized, it will work with its new partner, Revere Capital Advisors, to finalize agreements to restart the facility. 

Under the agreement with Revere, the company and its affiliates will provide the money needed to restart and operate the facility. The MRC estimates it’ll cost about $20 million alone to get the facility back up and running. 

Revere will also be the majority owner of Municipal Waste Solutions, the new company the Municipal Review Committee formed to purchase and own the facility.

During the most recent meeting of the Municipal Review Committee’s board of directors last week, representatives from Revere Capital said they will work closely with a company called CS Solutions, which will play a lead role in the facility’s restart. The company has deep ties to an investment group that failed to revive the two paper mills in Millinocket and East Millinocket. 

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Sawyer Loftus

Sawyer Loftus is an investigative reporter at the Bangor Daily News. A graduate of the University of Vermont, Sawyer grew up in Vermont where he worked for Vermont Public Radio, The Burlington Free Press...