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Incinerator undergoing acceptance testing

Late-September start comes nearly 10 months after facility was supposed to be online


The Durham York Energy Centre has entered its acceptance testing prior to going online. This phase is expected to last for about a month, and is among the last steps needed for the incinerator to go into commercial operation. The site was originally supposed to be online late last year.

By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express

The Durham York Energy Centre has begun its testing to ensure it is ready to go online.

According to a report posted on the incinerator’s website, the acceptance testing will last for 30 days, and will see that the site is running according to guidelines set in the contract between the region and Covanta, the site’s operator.

“If they get through this 30-day acceptance test period successfully, we’ll review the information in conjunction with our consultants and then we’ll put them in commercial operation shortly thereafter,” Cliff Curtis, the region’s works commissioner, said during a recent meeting of the regional works committee.

Data on the emissions being put out by the incinerator during its acceptance testing will be published online, as well as displayed on a billboard near the site.

Ten months late

The incinerator was originally supposed to be online on Dec. 14, 2014, and since Jan. 12, Covanta has been contractually obligated to pay $10,000 for each day the incinerator is not in commercial operation.

After being asked by Oshawa councillor John Neil about the liquidated damages at the meeting, Curtis said Covanta is still responsible for that money, but didn’t say how much has been collected.

Neil added that Covanta, an American company, should have to pay its fine in American dollars, rather than the lower-valued Canadian dollar.

Curtis says, however, that this won’t be the case.

“We’re paying in Canadian dollars, so we get to collect in Canadian dollars,” he said.