Waste management company Viridor today (December 10) signed a 25-year waste treatment contract with Cardiff city council, acting on behalf of the Prosiect Gwyrdd partnership of five local authorities in South Wales.
The Prosiect Gwyrrd (Project Green) partnership which includes Cardiff as well as Monmouthshire, Caerphilly, Vale of Glamorgan and Newport councils claims the contract will save the authorities 11 million in the first year of operation and 500 million over its lifetime.
Viridor beat off competition from Veolia Environmental Services to be recommended as preferred bidder for the contract in January, which has since been agreed by all partnership councils and has the option for a five-year extension (see letsrecycle.com story).
The Public Private Partnership (PPP) deal – estimated to be worth 1.1 billion over its lifetime – will see 172,000 tonnes of waste per year from the five authorities treated at Viridors energy-from-waste (EfW) facility that is currently under construction at Trident Park in Cardiff.
The 223 million plant, which is due to be completed in 2014, will also take up to 178,000 tonnes of commercial and industrial waste each year from across South Wales.
With an overall capacity of 350,000 tonnes of waste per year, the Trident Park facility will generate 28MW of electricity enough energy to power 50,000 households.
And, the councils state, the contract will deliver at least a further 5% recycling rate by extracting any remaining metal and using the incinerator bottom ash (IBA) as aggregate for building materials.
District heating network
As announced in March 2013, Viridor is also working with energy firm E.ON and Cardiff council on future plans for a district heating network which could increase the power generation through electricity and heat to 43MW (see letsrecycle.com story).
The company claims such a heat-producing system would be the first of its kind in Wales.
Viridors business development director, Howard Ellard, commented: After a three-year tendering process, we are delighted to have signed this contract and look forward to providing this essential service to the project partners and their residents.
‘After a three-year tendering process, we are delighted to have signed this contract and look forward to providing this essential service to the project partners and their residents.’
Howard Ellard, Viridor business development director
He added that construction of the plant had already brought economic benefits to the area including 431 operatives on site in November and would also provide around 40 permanent jobs as well as apprenticeship and training opportunities.
Viridor chief executive, Ian McAulay, said: We are delighted to have signed this contract with Prosiect Gwyrdd. The project represents another key milestone in the development of Viridors PPP/EfW strategy.
Other benefits outlined by the councils include a community fund of 50,000 a year for local projects; a visitors centre; and a Community Liaison Group made up of residents, elected members and Environment Agency representatives.
Cardiff councillor Russell Goodway, chairman of the Prosiect Gwyrrd joint committee, said the partner councils had worked together closely to ensure that all five councils would make significant savings from the project.
He added: To that extent, it is an excellent example of how local councils can work in collaboration to deliver much needed infrastructure whilst achieving financial savings. By working together the five councils have secured funding from the Welsh Government and a more favourable price for each tonne of waste treated at the facility. A legal agreement is now in place to ensure that each council fulfils their contractual obligations.
The five Prosiect Gwyrdd councils will start sending waste to Trident Park from September 2015, with full services set to start on April 1 2016.
The Trident Park facility has met with opposition from local campaign group Cardiff Against the Incinerator (Cati), of which one of the campaigners Pauline Ellaway has been granted a Judicial Review of Cardiff councils decision to grant planning permission for the plant.
Viridor has previously said it remains fully confident in the planning permission and consent for Trident Park EfW. (see letsrecycle.com story).