WRG withdraws bid for major Welsh contract

15 April 2011

By Chris Sloley

Northampton-based Waste Recycling Group has opted to withdraw its bid for a major contract in South Wales – worth in the region of £1 billion – after claiming it was unable to submit a proposal for the next stage of the procurement process.

The five council partnership Prosiect Gwyrdd is seeking a long-term solution for waste in the region
The five council partnership Prosiect Gwyrdd is seeking a long-term solution for waste in the region

The waste management firm had been one of four bidders left in the running for the 25-year Prosiect Gwyrdd deal, which is set to see a successful bidder develop waste treatment infrastructure to handle up to 200,000 tonnes of residual waste annually.

Prosiect Gwyrdd is formed of Cardiff council, Caerphilly county borough council, Monmouthshire county council, Newport city council and Vale of Glamorgan council.

The three bidders in the running for the contract are now:

  • Covanta Energy
  • Veolia Environmental Services
  • Viridor

All three bidders have proposed energy-from-waste incineration as their preferred treatment method, although the council partnership insists it is technology neutral.

Waste Recycling Group (WRG) had outlined plans to develop an energy-from-waste facility in Newport when it was named one of the four shortlisted for the deal in December 2010 (see letsrecycle.com story).

Withdrawal

The company’s decision to withdraw was announced last week by Prosiect Gwyrdd announcing. In a statement, it said: “The reasons given relate to the company not being in a position to submit a proposal at the next stage which will meet WRG's high standards and do justice to the partnership requirements.”

A spokesman for the project insisted that, while it was disappointed by the withdrawal, the three-bidder shortlist remained “very competitive”.

Rob Quick, senior responsible officer for Prosiect Gwyrdd, said: "We are obviously disappointed to lose any Participant at this stage. WRG have explained their reasons and we accept that they really had no option but to withdraw.

“On a positive note, we have three strong bidders still in the procurement each offering very competitive and exciting solutions."

The council partnership intends to name a preferred bidder for the contract in autumn 2012, with the contract finalised and a planning application in place by the end of 2012.

Funding support

Funding for the contract has been secured from the Welsh Assembly Government through the Outline Business Case (OBC) in the form of a grant and will contribute 25% of the future gate fee up to a maximum of £9.124 million (see letsrecycle.com story).

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Prosiect Gwyrdd

WRG

The grant is in line with a projected cost of the development calculated by Prosiect Gwyrdd. However, this is still subject to the final costs of the proposed project.

Under the Prosiect Gwyrdd banner, the five councils are hoping to achieve a combined recycling rate of 65% and then recovering at least 5% more recyclable waste through the residual waste treatment process.

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