We Could Have Saved Sofia from Garbage Troubles

Letters to the Editor | February 20, 2006, Monday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0

Dear Sirs,

Our company Basic International Inc's "waste to energy" BASIC ENERGY Boiler technology was selected 2 years ago to be the technology to be used by BALKANS General Engineering S.A. (BGE) for the 1000 metric ton per day plant in Sofia. BGE's offices are in Athens, Greece.

Last February, my wife Amy, visited Sofia. Amy is also a graduate engineer from Illinois Institute of technology in Chicago, Illinois as I am.

Amy and I made a courtesy call, and met with the Mayor and his aid in the Mayor's office. He was waiting for the project to get started. While in Sofia we met with the key person handling the land site at the Kremikovtzi plant where the plant was to be built, and were assured that the land contract would be completed. We also met the future Manager of the new "waste to energy" plant while in Sofia.

Originally 3 years ago the Kremikovtzi company was a partner in the project with the City of Sofia. BGE was selected as the Investor for the project in 2004.That made it a 3 way partnership at that time with the city supplying the waste, Kremikovtzi supplying the land site, and purchasing the power, and BGE as developer and investor.

When Kremikovtzi plant shareholding majority was changed to an India Company, they declined to be the third partner. However the plant site that we personally visited on the Kremikovtzi property, and approved of that site as a location was being arranged to be bought by BGE, the Investment Developer of the Project.

Prior to our visit, the City and the Minister of Environment requested and we arranged a visit to China to see one of our licensed municipal "waste to energy" plants in operation.

Six persons from Sofia visited China. Members of the City, and the Kremikovtzi steel mill, and two persons from the Minister of Environment's office and the President of BGE went to China for a personal inspection trip.

As my wife and I left Sofia in February 2005, we were told by BGE that they expected the last paper work to be completed by the middle of March. Then the BASIC license agreement would start, as well as the new "waste to energy" plant would be started to be built.

After that March date, we did not get any positive reply to start the Sofia "waste to energy" plant.

We read newspaper reports from Sofia in July 2005 about the garbage crises in Sofia. The present landfill was being kept open after promises that it would be shut down. The citizens were outraged. Garbage was piling up in the streets.

We further read in newspaper reports that the Mayor resigned from his position and was moved to the legislature.

The Vice Mayor took over in the crisis in July 2005.

A baling system was demonstrated as a method to cut down smells. (That baling method is faulty.) The refuse in the bale will ferment and cause "methane" to be liberated, and needs a place to escape. People tend to call that fermentation gas "methane". Actually a research section in the Department of the US army did field tests of those "methane gases" in a landfill in the State of Illinois 25 years ago and found at least 25 toxic carcinogen gases present in that gas. That is why the typical recommendation is to burn the landfill gases to avoid a fire hazard and the toxity to citizens.

In recent times, some landfill gases are collected and moved to an engine or gas turbine to burn and drive a generator for generating electricity.

We did read in this news report in your paper today that the citizens are complaining about the baling procedure. You can see the reason why as explained above.

We now read that new Investors are asking to bid for a new "waste to energy" plant for Sofia.

I have told you a summary of how the city of Sofia could have started a plant at Kremokivzi last March 2005.

What happened to the projected BASIC ENERGY Boiler "waste to energy" project in Sofia last March 2005?

I, as a President of an engineering company, as an inventor in this field of combustion with patents in 30 countries of the world, and as an Engineering Consultant, and being part of 125 BASIC plants in different parts of the world, and with 35 years in this waste to energy business would appreciate it if you can provide a logical answer.

A lot of present day troubles with garbage in Sofia would have been on a path of a positive solution.

Please advise. Thank you for being able to provide an opinion to your paper on this news subject.

John N. Basic, Sr.
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