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Hamilton pushing forward with $106M biosolids project

Harbour City Solutions consortium, the winning bidders for the biosolids project, include Synagro, Bird Construction, Maple Reinders and Cole Engineering.


The City of Hamilton has signed an agreement with the Harbour City Solutions consortium to move forward with the municipality’s new facility to treat the biosolids resulting from the city’s wastewater treatment process.

This public-private-partnership is supported through funding from PPP Canada for the design, building, finance, operation and maintenance of a facility that will take the organic materials that result from the wastewater treatment process and turn them into pellets to be sold for fertilizer or fuel.

Harbour City Solutions, the selected proponent for the project, is a consortium of companies that will create the designs, obtain financing, and oversee the construction of the facility. Synagro, headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, is the lead member and majority equity holder in the consortium, while other Canadian-based members Bird Construction and Maple Reinders will jointly design and construct the Hamilton facility. Design partners include Andritz and Cole Engineering. Synagro will be responsible for oversight, long term operation and maintenance of the facility, as well as beneficial use of the product.

The plant will process up to 60,000 wet tons of biosolids per year over the 30-year term of the contract. The ANDRITZ drum drying process will convert biosolids into pellets which will be sold as slow release organic fertilizer or as a renewable fuel substitute to coal burning industrial facilities. According to Synagro, this project will provide benefits to the community and environment including reduced truck traffic, odour, noise and greenhouse gas production, as well as improved air quality.

The Hamilton project will be Synagro’s tenth heat drying facility, adding to its portfolio of experience with more than 20 large-scale biosolids processing facilities provided via public-private partnership. This project represents Synagro’s first foray into the Canadian biosolids P3 market.

The cost of the project is estimated at $106 million. Fifty per cent of the capital costs will be paid once construction of the facility is complete – split equally between PPP Canada and the City of Hamilton. The remaining capital costs as well as the operation and maintenance fees will be paid out by the City of Hamilton over the 30 year term.