Amey makes ‘good progress’ on waste contract sales

Infrastructure services provider Amey says it made “good progress” on the disposal of its waste collections businesses in 2020 after announcing its intention to leave the sector last year.

Amey UK plc published its accounts for 2020 yesterday (15 June). The company’s waste collections division’s revenue was £84.8 million, down from £107.2 million in 2019.

Amey says it made “good progress” on the disposal of its waste collections businesses in 2020

The division’s overall operating losses were £6.9 million, down from £56 million in 2019.

Rumours that Amey planned to exit the waste sector began circulating in 2019. A strategic report submitted with the company’s accounts provides confirmation of its plans and reads: “Last year we announced our intention to dispose of Environmental Services waste collections businesses.

“Good progress has been made on this disposal since the year end, with the majority of the contracts in this area transferred to Urbaser including: Selby; Eden; Northamptonshire HWRCs; and Bedfordshire HWRCs at the end of February and Gloucester transferring at the end of March. We also negotiated an early exit from our contract in Ealing.

“Solihull waste collections and HWRC will remain in Amey until the end of the contract next year.”

The six contracts Urbaser acquired from Amey are believed to have a portfolio value of more than £30 million per year (see letsrecycle.com story).

Since 2003, Amey has been a subsidiary of Spanish infrastructure services company Ferrovial.

Waste treatment

Amey has announced no plans to get rid of its waste treatment business.

The entrance to Amey’s 44,000 tonnes per year capacity EfW facility on Forest Road, Newport, Isle of Wight (picture: Darren Toogood)

Amey treats waste at four sites across North Yorkshire, Milton Keynes, Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Wight. Treatment includes mechanical biological treatment (MBT), “traditional” mass-burn energy from waste (EfW), in-vessel composting (IVC), advanced thermal treatment and anaerobic digestion.

In 2020 the company’s waste treatment division’s revenues were £84.1 million, down from £93.2 million in 2019. The division’s operating losses were £83.8 million, up from £69.1 million in 2019.

Amey says it incurred ‘exceptional costs’ of £39.8 million and £9.8 million due to contract loss provisions on its respective contracts with Milton Keynes and the Isle of Wight.

On the Isle of Wight, Amey says construction of its EfW plant “progressed smoothly” in 2020 after an interruption when the site shut down from March to June due to the lockdown. Commissioning of the plant started in October 2020.

While Isle of Wight council told letsrecycle.com earlier this month that full operations at the plant would begin this summer (see letsrecycle.com story), the accounts are more vague about dates. They say full operations at the plant will begin “in the second half of 2021”.

Amey says its Milton Keynes Advanced Thermal Treatment (ATT) plant passed its resilience test in January 2020 and began full operations.

Covid-19

Amey’s accounts praised the work of its waste services staff throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Amanda Fisher is Amey’s CEO (picture: Amey)

The strategic report reads: “2020 was the year when waste treatment services were recognised as a critical public service. Our waste service employees have always been on the front line, one of the fundamental services protecting human health and the environment. However, the pandemic and lockdowns have demonstrated just how pivotal these services are in a modern society.”

Amey’s CEO Amanda Fisher visited the company’s Milton Keynes site in September 2020 to mark Recycle Week.

She said: “Every single day, our teams are helping to recycle thousands of tonnes of valuable materials, and recycling is something every one of us can do to help. I’d like to say thank you to our teams who are helping to make recycling happen.”

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