Power plant sale still moving forward

ESCANABA – Though the loan process continues to take longer than projected, the sale of the Escanaba power plant to Escanaba Green Energy (EGE) is moving in a forward direction, council was informed Wednesday at a joint meeting with the Electrical Advisory Committee.

Because it is less expensive for the city to purchase energy rather than generate its own electricity, Escanaba is selling its power plant to EGE for $4 million. EGE plans to convert the coal-burning facility to burn biomass.

EGE is borrowing $1 million from AEM Ventures LLC to serve as a deposit on a $36.5 million loan from Centurion ISG Europe Limited. The Centurion loan will pay for the plant and the biomass conversion.

EGE President Charles Detiege told council Wednesday that AEM is currently completing a final review of legal documentation prepared by Black Diamond Investments which is coordinating the $1 million loan between EGE and AEM.

Detiege said the parties are looking at early next week to finish the review process so the deposit can be made on the Centurion loan being coordinated through International Lending Services (ILS).

In an Oct. 8 letter from ILS, the company said EGE and Centurion signed a funding term agreement last month but the final loan commitment between the two parties is waiting on the deposit and final documentation, said Detiege.

Once the $1 million deposit is made on the Centurion loan, a date can be set to close on the purchase of the power plant, he said.