The highlights from the last two months include:
- Bond Sales closed above expectations with a total of $1,154,700 raised.
- Executed a Term Sheet with Miller Waste Systems Inc. to design/build/finance/operate and feed the biogas plant.
- Continued progress in securing Long Term Debt, largely as a result of the above. We received a Term Sheet with an offer to lend from a lender we’ve had a relationship with for a number of a years, and look forward to finalizing the terms of the loan.
- As a result of bond sales ending, we are scaling back sales and marketing activities significantly, and therefore have been preparing to say goodbye to Frances whose last day will be October 14th.
Design and Construction
We are pleased to announce that we executed a Term Sheet with Miller Waste Systems Inc. to Design/Build/Finance/Operate and Feed the biogas plant.
Miller Waste has been providing composting services to Canadians since 1990. Each year, it processes valuable leaf and yard waste along with food waste from municipal and commercial sources. Miller Waste currently owns and operates four compost sites nationwide and has been increasingly involved in anaerobic digestion projects with its partners, including a recently commissioned organics decontamination facility at its Pickering Transfer Station. Collectively, Miller Waste processes 130,000 tonnes of organics annually.
Miller will leverage what it’s already learned in the sector and work together with equipment suppliers and a local engineering firm to complete designs and construction. As stated in the last update, we are excited to move forward with this relationship as it significantly reduces operating risk for the facility as a result of Miller’s access to and experience managing organics from the commercial sector.
With additional agreements to negotiate with Miller, final design work to be completed and then submitted for building permits, we will not be starting construction until Spring 2017. This puts us on track to begin operations in Fall 2017.
Community Bond sales closed on September 30th with the expiry of the Offering Statement.
We attended the usual number of events and markets during August and September, and reminded our many subscribers about the opportunity ending, ultimately helping us to exceed our $1,000,000 goal. All together, a total of $1,154,700 was raised in this offering.
As noted in the previous update, this was not a simple decision, but it was the right one. Ultimately selling bonds is a costly and time-consuming way to raise money in comparison to other forms of financing. With the addition of Miller to the project, avenues that were not previously available to us became viable, and so we decided to shut down bond sales. This is going to help us conserve cash and save money in the short term, while also allowing the organization to focus on completing the remaining milestones leading up to the Commercial Operation Date.
As stated above, bringing Miller into the project gives ZooShare an experienced operator that collects and manages sufficient volumes of commercial organics to more than meet our needs.
As a result of Miller’s ability to decontaminate and remove packaging, we will still be able to serve the needs of local grocery retailers while collecting market-based rates for the organics it accepts, and also leaving potential for sponsorship revenues to grow over time.
Sadly the end of bond sales also means the end of our need for a full-time Sales and Marketing Manager. Frances has been with ZooShare since February of 2014, playing a major role in all of our communications and bond sales over her 2.5 years with the co-operative. She has personally spoken to almost every one of our members at some point, whether it was answering questions, organizing the AGM, or selling/processing bond sales. As much as we’d love to keep her on, there simply was not enough work or budget to do so. Frances’ contributions and presence will be sorely missed, but we know she will be moving on to bigger and better things and wish her nothing but the best. Please be sure to send Frances a note to say thanks before she goes.