By Will Date
SITA UK has become the second waste management firm in a matter of weeks to quit a major contract procurement, announcing today (January 25) that it has dropped its bid for the 800 million North Wales deal.
This follows the withdrawal of Veolia Environmental Services from the tender for two large-scale contracts with the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) in December (see letsrecycle.com story).
The North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project (NWRWTP) – a joint procurement by Flintshire county council, Conwy county borough council, Denbighshire county council, Gwynedd council and the Isle of Anglesey county council – is seeking a contractor to build and operate a waste treatment facility for 25 years.
The project is being backed with around 142.7 million funding from the Welsh Government.
SITA UK was among the final two companies left in the running for the deal, alongside incineration specialist Wheelabrator, having seen off a rival bid from Veolia Environmental Services Aurora Ltd to be named on the final shortlist in August 2012 (see letsrecycle.com story).
But, according to SITA UK, it has chosen to leave the procurement process due to the challenging economic climate, and stating that the project ranks lower than other opportunities.
The company is among the final bidders for the 25-year waste contract being procured by the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority, which is expected to be completed shortly (see letsrecycle.com) as well as the West London Waste Authoritys residual waste treatment procurement (see letsrecycle.com story).
Commenting on the decision, SITA UK chief executive David Palmer Jones, said: “After careful consideration we have decided to withdraw from the North Wales procurement tender. The key reason is that upon review, in the current economic climate, this project ranks lower for us than our other opportunities. We would, however, like to wish the Partnership every success for the future.
Following SITAs withdrawal, the NWRWTP has said that it will continue assess the Wheelabrator bid, before an announcement is made on the future of the contract.
A spokesman for the Partnership, said: The North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Partnership can confirm that one of the remaining two bidders in the procurement process, SITA UK, has informed us that they are withdrawing from the process.
The three year procurement process is reaching the stage of closure of ‘competitive dialogue’. A final selection decision between SITA UK and Wheelabrator Technologies Incorporated – the two bidders selected for the final stage of competitive procurement from the original seven – had been planned to be made over the summer.
Both bidders had submitted highly competitive bids with competitive pricing offers and proven technological solutions. Negotiations will now continue with Wheelabrator alone before a final decision is made on whether to appoint them as the preferred bidder.
In dropping out of the North Wales deal, SITA UK has now withdrawn from three major contract procurements in the last three years. 2011 saw the firm announce its decision to leave the arc21 waste management contract in Northern Ireland (see letsrecycle.com) as well as the NLWA waste management contract (see letsrecycle.com story).