(Not Applicable)

A Vancouver company's technology is behind a proposal to build what it describes as the first U.S. plant that will turn sewage into commercial-use fertilizer.

Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc., under licence from the University of British Columbia, has signed a contract with Oregon-based public utility Clean Water Services to build a $2.5-million addition to the Durham wastewater treatment facility near Portland.

Clean Water will own and operate the plant and share with Ostara revenues from sales of the fertilizer byproduct, known as Crystal Green.

Ostara's first commercial-scale plant began operating in Edmonton last year. The Portland plant serves more than half a million customers in the area.

"This technology will save our ratepayers money by extracting nutrients which would otherwise clog our pipes and reduce our plant's treatment capacity, while also creating a unique and environmentally safe commercial fertilizer product," said Bill Gaffi, general manager at Clean Water Services.