The highlights from last month include project design, preparation and submission of building permit applications; completion of the Sales and Marketing Plan; planning for groundbreaking (!); and more bond sales. We also made good progress in our pursuit of additional feedstock suppliers, and have a plan in place to ensure we have all of the organics contracted within the coming months. This is an extremely exciting and critical time for our project, with much work to get done to be operational by year end. In addition, while the construction is taking place, we will continue to explore every possible avenue to maximize project revenues (primarily on the fertilizer side) and minimize future operating costs.
As of Feb/1st, we had sold $304,000 of the 5% bonds, which are currently sitting in an escrow account awaiting the completion of construction. We continued to solidify our sales and marketing plans for the year, which includes leveraging our major milestones and any media we receive into more bond sales.
If you would like to invest in the latest bond offering, please fill out the form here (if you you a ZooShare member, make sure to check the “Yes, I’ve paid my ZooShare membership fee” box).
Meetings took place this month with multiple waste management companies, two major grocery retailers, and an industry association that is looking to facilitate meetings for us with their members. It’s an evolving discussion, but our focus continues to be first on retail-facing food companies who see the PR value of a long term relationship (20 years), followed by waste management companies that more easily serve our needs but on a more short term basis (1-5 years). As we get closer to construction and operations, more waste companies will call us, as our locational advantage translates to direct savings on transportation costs for them. In fact, this has already begun to happen – I got two calls this week with attractive offers. While the process has been slow to date, we are confident we will have our feedstock needs contracted in the coming months, as construction gets underway. As we have said for some time, the challenge is not securing waste, it is accurately predicting it’s make-up, level of contamination and price over the next 5, 10, 20 years.
Design and Construction
Our engineering team at Bioferm has been hard at work at finalizing project designs, site plans and the budget this past month, so that we can submit building permit applications to the TRCA and City of Toronto this week. We will also be ready to execute the Turnkey Design-Build contract, and will be submitting the first round of designs to the Zoo for their approval and comments. Based on the currently projected timelines, we will begin ground preparation and excavation in late March/early April. We are planning a groundbreaking celebration, which will take place around this time – stay tuned for further details.