Composite Recycling Technology Center’s board chair details what could go awry with progress

PORT ANGELES — While Bob Larsen found it hard to hide his hopes for the Composite Recycling Technology Center, he acknowledged that a set of adverse circumstances could delay or derail its success.

Larsen, chairman of the CRTC board, told Port of Port Angeles commissioners last week that possible problems include:

■   Funding: The CRTC hopes to receive a $1.35 million state Clean Energy grant to equip the center.

“Obviously we need equipment to be able to make this material,” Larsen said. If the center doesn’t get the award, it must look elsewhere, but it already has approached foundations about grants.

■   Supply: The CRTC needs a sustainable source of carbon-fiber scrap. At least one supplier firm has been secured, and Larsen said center officials are negotiating with three other potential suppliers he said he can identify in January.

■   Poor product reception: Larsen called this a low-to-moderate risk.

“I believe our product [see related report] will be very well-accepted in the marketplace,” he said.

As likely a problem, he said, is that demand for the articles will exceed supply.

■   Marketing support: The port has pledged continued assistance, but it is governed by elected officials whose future enthusiasm may not match those of the current commission.

“If we don’t get that support,” Larsen said, “that will definitely slow down our growth and delay our expansion.”

Overall, he said, “we think we can overcome each of the obstacles.

“It’s going to take a lot of hard work, but all the elements of success are in place.”

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