25 June 2012

Final bids submitted for Merseyside PFI contract

Covanta and SITA have submitted their final tenders for the resource and recovery waste contract being procured by the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA), two and a half years after being shortlisted.

Competitive dialogue formally closed for the 25-year contract on Friday (June 22) which is being procured on behalf of the Merseyside and Halton Waste Partnership. The contract covers the treatment of over 450,000 tonnes of residual waste every year.

Neil Ferris said the process had taken over two years as the MRWA was ensuring the best possible options could be considered

Neil Ferris said the process had taken over two years as the MRWA was ensuring the best possible options could be considered

Covanta and SITA have both submitted plans to design, build and operate an energy from waste facility (EfW). Both proposals will use the residual waste to produce electricity, and or heat.

The resource and recovery contract is expected to involve capital investment in the region of 400 million, and is the second of two major waste contracts the MWDA has been procuring over the past few years, with a combined value of 3.3 billion.

The two firms were announced as the final bidders in November 2009 (see letsrecycle.com story). The MRWA had previously said that the preferred bidder would be announced towards the end of 2010 with financial close reached by early 2011. However the MRWA said the preferred bidder is now not expected to be announced until autumn 2012, following a thorough and detailed evaluation process.


Commenting on the delay Neil Ferris, Director of Strategy and Development, told letsrecycle.com: The process by which the Merseyside and Halton Resource and Recovery Waste contract is being let is through competitive dialogue.

Although the two final bidders were announced two years ago, the process to negotiate the options for Merseyside and Halton has taken this amount of time to ensure that the best possible solutions can be considered. During that period both bidders responded to the option within the MWDA procurement to provide sites and came forward with proposed sites for facilities.


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Energy-from-waste specialist Covanta plans to build its proposed EfW facility at Ince Marshes in Cheshire the site of its joint venture eco-park with Peel Environmental (see letsrecycle.com story). Meanwhile waste management firm SITA submitted a proposal for an EfW at the Wilton International site in Teesside.

Mr Ferris said he was unable to give further details of the proposals submitted by Covanta and SITA. However the outline business case submitted to Defra to secure the 90 million in PFI credits was based on mechanical biological treatment being used to produce a refuse-derived fuel which would then be processed to produce electricity and/or heat.

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