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No bidders for Burgess BioPower biomass facility

View of the Burgess Biopower station in Berlin, NH, in September 2023. Dan Tuohy photo.
Dan Tuohy
/
NHPR
View of the Burgess Biopower station in Berlin, NH, in September 2023. Dan Tuohy photo.

This story was originally produced by The Berlin Sun. NHPR is republishing it in partnership with the Granite State News Collaborative.

No bids were received for the purchase of the bankrupt Burgess BioPower assets by the May 6 deadline, making it increasingly likely the facility will end up being restructured by its lenders.

The debtors have been pursuing a two-prone or “toggle” approach in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Delaware. Their plan provided for a stand-alone restructuring scenario as well as a sale scenario.

Under the sale procedures approved by Bankruptcy Judge Laurie Selber Silverstein, potential buyers had until May 6 to submit qualified bids — bids that met minimum requirements to be eligible to participate in the auction for all or substantially all of the assets of the 75-megawatt biomass facility.

In a May 13 filing with the bankruptcy court, the debtors informed the court that “no qualifying bid was received by the deadline.”

The other scenario pursued by the debtors calls for allowing Burgess BioPower’s senior secured lenders to exchange their debt for 100 percent of the equity and own and control the assets free and clear.

The sale hearing, which was scheduled for May 21, has now been rescheduled for June 6.

In a filing on May 14, the N.H. Department of Environmental Services said it was not clear whether the debtors intended to pursue approval of a standalone plan or still seek a sale. But DES requested that any confirmation order or sale order preserve the state’s police or regulatory jurisdiction over the facility. The agency requested that any such order issued by the court specify that it does not authorize the transfer or assignment of any federal or state environmental permits or licenses. Furthermore, DES said additional state agencies may have similar rights and the state reserves the right to bring forth similar objections.

The city of Berlin has filed to protect property taxes owed by Burgess BioPower for 2023 and due this spring. Burgess BioPower represents 16 percent of Berlin’s tax base.

Burgess BioPower filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Feb. 9 and has continued to run the facility while bankruptcy proceedings have been underway.

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