The council explained that the notice is aimed at helping the local authority “gain a better understanding of both the capacity and appetite of the market in delivering the proposed services, and to alert the market to a future tender opportunity”. The PIN was issued last week (19 May).
The PIN estimates the contract notice to be published on 2 October 2023, noting that “no decision has been taken at this stage with regards to the type of procedure, contract length along with any potential extension periods or the use of lots”.
This step is the latest development in the council’s tendering process, with the tender first launched in August 2022 in a bid to move away from landfill (see letsrecycle.com story). Earlier this month, Essex took the decision to pause the procurement process as “none of the bids submitted in the response to the tender were compliant”.
This decision is understood to have irked a number of bidders who said they had spent time and a significant amount of money bidding. The council declined to specify what parts of bids were non-compliant.
On the back of this, the council explained that before relaunching the tender, it “plans to fully engage with the market and potential bidders in the coming weeks” (see letsrecycle.com story). The notice has set out that the council’s “primary concerns are waste acceptance, price and environmental impact, and how we can minimise our exposure to these concerns”.
When pausing the procurement process earlier this month, the council noted that it “recognises and fully appreciates the time and effort that bidders have put into this process”.
The local authority has invited interested providers to attend one-on-one sessions either in person or virtually “to share and discuss their views and responses to the council’s market engagement questionnaire”.
Essex has advised potential bidders to provide their completed questionnaires to the council three days ahead of their allocated meeting, with the sessions taking place in the first two weeks of June. Those who would like to engage but are unable to attend one-on-one sessions have been asked to return their written responses to the questionnaire by 16 June.
The contract for the disposal of 350,000 tonnes of residual waste was initially valued at £62 million for the seven-year contract term and split into three lots of 200,000 tonnes, 100,000 tonnes and 50,000 tonnes.
The tender, launched in August 2022, was however unexpectedly cancelled three months later due to “technical issues” which haven’t been specified.
When relaunched in December, the contract value has increased to between £433.5 and £867 million (see letsrecycle.com story). The contract was set to commence on 1 April 2024 and run until 31 March 2031, with an option to agree an earlier services commencement between 1 October 2023 and 31 March 2024.