That leaves the future of the shuttered Hampden trash plant in question.
The Coastal Resources of Maine facility is seen in Hampden. Credit: Sam Schipani / BDN

A deal between a group representing more than 100 Maine towns and cities in their waste management and a New-York based financial firm has fallen through, leaving the future of the shuttered Hampden trash plant in question.

Last summer, the Municipal Review Committee selected Revere Capital Advisors LLC, a New York-based investment firm, as its key financial partner in reopening the Hampden trash plant that has been shuttered for more than two years. The plan was to sell a portion of the limited liability company the committee formed to buy the Hampden plant to Revere Capital.

But after a prospective operator dropped out and key changes to environmental permits were not granted by deadline, the Municipal Review Committee’s period of exclusivity with review came to a close at midnight Tuesday night, according to the committee’s executive director Mike Carroll.

The reopening of the beleaguered trash plant has been mired in delays stemming from financial partners backing out or proving they don’t have enough capital to fund the restart and Bangor Daily News coverage of a controversial choice of a potential plant operator.

On Tuesday, Karen Fussell, president of the committee’s board, said there would likely not be a closing on Jan. 31, the last day of the exclusivity period. Carroll, the committee’s executive director, said Wednesday that the Municipal Review Committee opted not to extend the exclusivity period after multiple closing delays.

“While we are disappointed that Revere Capital Advisors LLC was not able to close on the Hampden facility partnership during the exclusivity period, we welcome them to continue to work with us to invest in MWS,” Carroll said.

With the exclusivity period over, the Municipal Review Committee is open to and seeking out other financial partners that could fund the plant’s restart, which is still slated for 2023, Carroll said.  

Initially, a company called CS Solutions was slated to be the shuttered trash plant’s operator under Revere’s reopening plan.

That company withdrew after the BDN highlighted its roots in a New Hampshire-based investment company that came to Maine more than a decade ago, pledging to reopen the Katahdin region’s two paper mills and start a facility making wood pellets that could serve as a coal substitute.

That investment company, Cate Street Capital, restarted the East Millinocket paper mill for about two-and-a-half years, but the Millinocket mill lay dormant. The wood pellets plant slated for Millinocket never came to fruition.

Cate Street benefited from tens of millions of dollars in state and federal tax breaks in the process. Both Cate Street and its papermaking subsidiary, Great Northern Paper, have filed for bankruptcy protection.

The Municipal Review Committee acquired the plant in August 2022 after no other qualified bidders came forward earlier in the year to purchase it.

The plant has remained dormant since May 2020, when it shut down after it ran out of funds.

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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...