BLP contractor files for bankruptcy

The Board of Light and Power-operated Marquette Energy Center consists of three 18-megawatt reciprocating internal combustion engines that are dual fueled by natural gas and fuel oil. Shortly after operations began in August 2017, more than a dozen Marquette township residents complained about noises coming from the MEC, which is located along Wright Street. (Journal file photo)

MARQUETTE — Innova Global Ltd., an international sound emissions and noise management company that’s been working to assess noises and vibrations emanating from the Marquette Energy Center, filed for bankruptcy and was placed in receivership on April 1.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. — a London-based company which offers global auditing, accounting and assurance services — will manage Innova Global’s current and future assets, undertakings and properties, court documents state. The company currently owes over $74 million to creditors and is in default on its credit agreement.

Innova Global was retained by the Marquette Board of Light and Power to assess noises and vibrations believed to be coming from its Marquette Energy Center, which is adjacent to the BLP’s main office along Wright Street. Shortly after operations began at the center, over 20 Marquette Township residents submitted written complaints.

BLP Executive Director Tom Carpenter said once he learned of Innova’s bankruptcy case, he began communicating with PWC, who’s managing Innova’s assets.

“We have been told by the people managing the company that our project is still viable and we’ll be working down a path to continue to get it done,” Carpenter said. The details of the contract are currently being worked out and more information will be available soon, he added.

Staff from Innova Global recently conducted a study at noise-sensitive receptors near the MEC and residential areas to quantify the sound levels of each source. The company discovered that the major low-frequency noise contributors are largely from the building walls and roof of the engine hall, while the high-frequency noises were coming from the radiators.

The Canadian-based company is supposed to be retrofitting the existing walls and roof of the MEC with a heavier design that will help keep the sound inside the building. Construction was anticipated to be completed by mid-July.

Tom Tourville, chairman of the BLP Board of Directors, said there’s every indication to believe the project will still continue.

“This came to us totally out of the blue, within the last week,” he said. “Tom Carpenter has been working with our attorneys to make sure the BLP’s position is protected in this process and that the job will indeed get completed to our specifications.”

Jaymie Depew can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is jdepew@miningjournal.net.