A majority of today’s operating waste to energy plants were developed in the 1980s. In order to finance these facilities, comprehensive feasibility reports were required that assessed the engineering and financial feasibility of the projects. The Bristol Resource Facility Operating Committee (BRRFOC) commissioned two such reports; in 1985 when the project was initially financed and again in 1993 when the initial bonds were refunded. Key assumptions were made in the 1985 and 1993 reports regarding energy prices, landfill costs, inflation, member tonnage, recycling rates, changes in law and plant operations. Despite the enormous changes that have occurred in the waste to energy industry over the past 20 years, BRRFOC’s member community tipping fee has consistently outperformed projections. In fact, due to BRRFOC’s financial track record, a 2005 refinancing was successfully marketed to financial institutions without an independent economic study. This paper will compare and contrast the 1985 and 1993 projections and assumptions to actual performance. The information provided will assist decision makers contemplating contract renewals, expansions or new waste to energy projects determine what sensitivity analyses, if any, need to be included in the feasibility report.

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