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DUNKIRK – The members of the Dunkirk Industrial Development Agency learned about plans for a waste-to-energy venture at their regular meeting Thursday in City Hall.

Dunkirk Bioenergy representative Mark Barbera said his firm is partnering with Fieldbrook Foods and is in the planning stage of a project to build an anaerobic digester that would convert methane gas to energy.

Barbera said the method has been tested in many locations in Europe and the closest example is a site at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., which is working successfully.

Barbera said the digester would take waste from the Fieldbrook plant that makes ice cream products and convert it near the plant site to supply energy to the plant.

He said the group is now in a phase where it is building relationships with other companies to collect waste. The next phase will be to apply for permits.

Barbera said his group is looking for support from the Dunkirk IDA as it goes through the permit phase but it is not seeking funding from the agency. He anticipates six to eight full-time jobs would be created by the project.

Dunkirk Bioenergy currently has its offices in the SUNY Fredonia State Incubator building in the city. Barbera said the timeline for the project calls for production to start at the end of this year.

IDA members also heard from Andy Woloszyn, who is considering a charcoal distribution center in the city. Woloszyn said he is looking at purchasing an already existing business that distributes a high-quality charcoal and moving the enterprise to the city. Board members asked Woloszyn to consider writing a business plan that would include the number of employees and the potential for business growth.