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Lemar admits defeat

30 August 2007

Lemar admits defeat

“The end of Lemar’s effort to make the sewage sludge vitrification plant work in the way it was intended is bitterly disappointing,” Kapiti Coast District Mayor Alan Milne said today.

“After they were unable to complete the contract and could not collect the final payment of $500,000 they spent a further $350,000 of their money, not Council’s, trying to make the plant work but they have finally had to admit defeat,” Mr Milne said.

After nearly two years trying to make the final stage of the Lemar sewage sludge vitrification plant work as intended, Lemar Environmental has advised Kapiti Coast District Council that they are ceasing their efforts with the technology.

The programme, which included consultation with experts in the field, trials on the plant, computer modelling and research into both the technical and international marketing prospects for the combustion technology “has led to the determination that Lemar should cease to continue its endeavours with sludge vitrification technology,” Lemar Environmental director, Mr C.I.G. Wilson said in a letter to the Council.

Following the mutually agreed cessation of the uncompleted contract two years ago, Lemar was working on a non-contractual and without prejudice basis to complete the Lemar Plant at Paraparaumu. There was no cost to Council for this work.

“This programme, where costs have now exceeded $350,000, was undertaken on the initiative of Lemar for the potential mutual benefit of both Council and Lemar,” Mr Wilson said.

The drying plant continues to function effectively and produces 8 cubic metres per day of dried sludge but this is a far cry from the far smaller, lighter and completely inert vitrified sludge the plant was supposed to produce.

“While the dryer is effective, it’s not producing what the Council of the day signed up for,” Mr Milne said.

Lemar have offered their services to maximise the potential of the drying system by converting the dryer to an alternative fuel from the diesel it is currently burning to dry the sludge.

“The Council will need to consider this offer and its implications,” Mayor Milne said. “A report will come to the next Finance & Audit Committee meeting on September 6.”


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