This comes as it emerged that Spanish infrastructure company Acciona was the only remaining bidder in the process, and a local campaign group has written to them urging to withdraw.
NLWA’s existing 500,000 tonnes per year capacity plant in Edmonton is decades old. It is set to be knocked down and replaced with a larger 700,000 tonnes per year capacity facility, with the heat used locally.
The tender process to build the plant was launched last year, valued at £683 million. It has been faced with some opposition from campaign groups, as well as the London mayor Sadiq Khan.
In the wake of local reports that Acciona was the only remaining bidder, local campaign group Stop the Edmonton Incinerator sent a letter to Acciona urging them to withdraw.
In the letter, sent last week (18 August), the campaign group says Acciona’s bid to build the plant is “at odds” with the company’s goals for “sustainable generation”.
It said that by pulling out of the bidding process, Acciona would not “only protect its reputation as a leader in sustainable approaches, but also send an unmistakable signal to the waste and resource sectors of the UK and other countries, namely that the company is serious about its climate and ecological ambitions”.
The letter added: “As you may be aware, the EfW project faces strong, growing opposition in London and beyond”.
It went on to say that energy recovery plants contribute to social injustice as they “are three times more likely to be sited in the most deprived areas”, and also hold back recycling and emission goals.
As you may be aware, the EfW project faces strong, growing opposition in London and beyond – Stop the Edmonton Incinerator campaign group
In a statement given to letsrecycle.com, NLWA said it was pleased to confirm that Acciona, supported by technical expertise from Hitachi Zosen Inova, has submitted “detailed solutions” to the tender.
The authority said the companies bring a wealth of global experience and a proven track record for delivering high quality EfW projects to the most modern standards.
The spokesperson added: “We are therefore progressing the procurement. This is allowing a detailed and intense dialogue phase of the procurement to be undertaken, ensuring that plans and costs are subject to the most thorough exploration to achieve a successful outcome for north London’s residents.
“We are confident that the procurement process, following all requirements of the Public Contract Regulations 2015 and delivering value for money, will enable a decision for the ERF contract award to be made, in line with our programme for delivering this world-class project. The ERF will help tackle the Climate Emergency, provide long-term jobs, and create lifechanging apprenticeships.
“In all its actions NLWA ensures compliance with legal obligations and the delivery of value for money for council tax payers. The procurement is being carried out, meeting all terms of public procurement for such a contract as set out in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. The Authority always announces the result of contract awards which demonstrates the value being achieved for council tax payers”.
The ERF will help tackle the climate emergency, provide long-term jobs, and create lifechanging apprenticeships – NLWA
The new plant is scheduled to be operational in 2025.
Despite preparatory works, which began in January 2019 (see letsrecycle.com story), being paused over the summer because of Covid-19, the NLWA says it has been able to make up for lost time by carrying out “overlapping activities”.
However, it’s thought the costs for the plant have risen. A report which went before the NLWA’s programme committee on 2 November 2020 explained that the project has a total central estimated capital cost of £1.13bn.
The redevelopment will also see the construction of a resource recovery centre and a “reuse and recycling centre” to enable the public to bring waste directly to the site, and a visitor centre.
The plant was given the go ahead by the government in February 2017 (see letsrecycle.com story). Once operational, it will incinerate waste and generate heat and electricity.