16 December 2020 by James Langley

Viridor, Suez and FCC eye North East EfW contract

Three firms are in the running for a contract to operate a 450,000 tonnes per annum capacity energy from waste (EfW) plant which will take household waste from seven North East councils.

Durham county council, Newcastle city council, Middlesbrough and the boroughs of Darlington, Hartlepool, Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton-on-Tees plan to build the ‘Tees Valley’ facility on a 25-acre brownfield site in Redcar and Cleveland.

The South Tees Development Corporation area where the Tees Valley Energy Recovery Facility will be built

At a meeting of Redcar and Cleveland borough council’s growth, enterprise and environment scrutiny and improvement committee on 10 December the three firms were named as Viridor, Suez and Green Recovery Projects Ltd, a company formed when FCC Environment sold 49% of its EfW portfolio to Icon (see letsrecycle.com story).

A report which went before the committee reads: “All companies that were interested in the procurement had to complete the selection questionnaire (SQ). A total of nine responses were received.

“The SQ evaluation process was completed on the 16 October 2020 and all bidders were informed of the results on the 19th October 2020. The three successful companies to be taken through to the next round of the procurement process were Viridor Waste Management Ltd; Suez Recycling and Recovery Ltd; and Green Recovery Projects Ltd.”

The contract could be worth as much as £2.1bn across its duration. The chosen contractor will have a minimum 29-year contract to build and operate the facility, with the potential of a further 11-year extension. On the expiry of the contract, the facility will revert to ownership by the councils.

Tees Valley

An ‘inter-authority agreement’ was signed by all seven councils involved with the Tees Valley project on 24 July (see letsrecycle.com story). This provided certainty to bidders on which councils were involved with the project, Redcar and Cleveland borough council says. The formal procurement process for the Tees Valley contract began on the same day.

The 450,000 tonnes per annum capacity EfW plant will take household waste from seven North East councils

Meetings are set to take place with Viridor, Suez and Green Recovery Projects during the next six months to clarify aspects of their proposals. The three companies will then be invited to submit final tenders for evaluation by the end of November 2021.

Redcar and Cleveland borough council says that, subject to cabinet approval from all seven councils involved with the project, the successful company should be confirmed next December.

The local authorities hope for the facility to be up and running by 1 April 2026.

Redcar and Cleveland borough council says the development will create more than 300 jobs during the construction phase and approximately 40 permanent positions.

Current arrangements

Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees councils currently have a residual waste contract with Suez due to end in 2025, with most residual waste treated at the company’s EfW facility at Haverton Hill.

Darlington has a contract with Wades, with residual waste processed to produce refuse derived fuel.

Durham also has a residual contract with Suez, providing merchant access to landfill diversion, primarily through EfW, but also using other technology including mechanical biological treatment (MBT).

And, Newcastle has a residual waste contract with Suez, providing treatment through MBT, including in vessel composting.

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