Refuse derived fuel made from municipal solid waste is moved toward the power generation system where it will be burned in a boiler to make electric power at Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. in Orrington in this 2013 file photo. Credit: Bridget Brown / BDN

Another auction is scheduled for the Orrington trash incinerator, after a recent purchase fell through.

The foreclosed Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. plant was auctioned to Delta Thermo Energy on Nov. 2. The Pennsylvania company made the winning bid of $1.5 million.

However, the company decided not to pay the required 10 percent of the sale, meaning the  power-generating trash incinerator is back up for auction, Plant Manager Henry Lang said. Delta Thermo Energy had to submit a $50,000 deposit to bid in the auction. A payment of $100,000 was expected within 27 days of the auction.

Now that Delta Thermo Energy has backed out, a third auction is scheduled for 1 p.m., Tuesday. PERC was originally scheduled for auction in June, but it was delayed three times until the first auction on Oct. 25, where no bids were placed, and the second auction on Nov. 2

PERC stopped operations May 2, but continued accepting trash from Orrington residents until it became full in early September. That trash is now going to the state-owned Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town instead.

Around 30 employees were furloughed in September, with the expectation that they would be brought back to work when the plant sold.

According to Lang, the additional delays are making it harder to bring people back. Numerous employees are still waiting for PERC to reopen and they have attended the auctions, waiting to see what happens. But some people have had to take other jobs to support themselves and their families, Lang said.

Cold weather is here to stay, which means the plant either needs to be heated or winterized, Lang said. Heating will only happen once a buyer is secured. The few employees left are working to winterize equipment but there’s a lot to do and not many people, Lang said.

At this rate, equipment will likely freeze, leading to expensive future repairs, he said.

Orrington has a special open meeting Monday evening to discuss the tax foreclosure of PERC. The plant owes around $765,000 in real estate and personal property taxes.

If the Board of Selectmen decides to foreclose, it would mean a hard stop for any activity at the plant, Lang said.

“I would like to say that we’re patiently waiting, but our patience is pretty thin right now,” Lang said.

Orrington Town Manager Chris Backman, Delta Thermo Energy and Keenan Auction Company, which is running the auction, did not immediately return calls.

Marie Weidmayer is a reporter covering crime and justice. A recent transplant to Maine, she was born and raised in Michigan, where she worked for MLive, covering the criminal justice system. She graduated...