Preferred Bidder Recommended to Councils to Deliver £500m Project
The North West Region Waste Management Group (NWRWMG) has moved a step closer to completing its public procurement exercise to deliver new waste infrastructure for the north-west region.
The Joint Committee of the Group has recommended a preferred bidder to deliver the half billion-plus pound project, one of Northern Ireland’s largest procurement deals.
The Group’s constituent Councils will now receive and decide upon the recommendation of the Joint Committee. Cllr. Evelyn Robinson, NWRWMG’s Chair, said:
“Today’s decision brings us another step closer to finalising one of the largest and most complicated public procurement exercises in Northern Ireland. It has the potential to revolutionise and revitalise the way we handle our waste.
“Environmental considerations and EU regulations highlight that we should send much less waste to landfill. The proposed new waste facilities will maximise recycling rates and provide renewable energy from the region’s waste.
“The technology being proposed, a combination of mechanical biological treatment (MBT) and gasification, represents best practice. The facilities will create jobs, provide value-for-money to ratepayers, ensure that the region avoids potentially punishing EU fines for failing to divert waste from landfill and safeguard our environment.”
The consortium being put forward is made up of local and national expertise in the waste sector. The companies involved are Brickkiln, Sisk and Shanks. Brickkiln is a Derry-based firm specialising in waste management and civil engineering, Sisk is an international construction company while Shanks is an international waste management business.
The consortium has already secured planning permission to develop a MBT facility and gasification plant at Brickkiln’s Enviropark at Electra Road, Maydown, Derry.
MBT is a pre-treatment process that will allow Councils to maximise their recycling by extracting additional useful materials from the waste stream while gasification, an advanced thermal treatment for non-recyclable waste, will produce renewable energy.
The site will handle 120,000 tonnes of waste annually, supplying 30 Giga Watt hours of renewable electricity to the grid, enough to support the energy needs of 6,000 homes for a year. The facilities will create 200 construction jobs and a further 40 full-time posts when they become operational.
NWRWMG’s Vice Chairman, Cllr. Michael Coyle, said:
“By 2020 the NWRWMG must ensure that less than 35% of bio-degradable municipal waste goes to landfill. Failure to do so could lead to EU infraction fines which will ultimately have to be met by ratepayers.
“The solution recommended today will enable local Councils to meet those targets and treat non-recyclable waste in a more environmentally friendly manner. The new facilities will complement our focus on the ‘3Rs’ of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and help us reach a recycling target of 60%.
“It is no longer an option to keep sending so much of our rubbish to landfill. Apart from the harmful greenhouse gases which it creates, it is a waste of a renewable energy source. MBT will boost recycling rates by 6% while gasification will help Northern Ireland reach its renewable energy targets and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
“This is an important stage in the decision-making process, but it is not the final decision. Over the next few weeks local Councils will have the opportunity to assess and review the recommendation. If all parties are satisfied we can move towards officially awarding the contract in early 2013.”
If NWRWMG’s constituent councils accept the recommendation of the NWRWMG Joint Committee, construction work is likely to begin in the next 12-15 months with the facilities becoming operational in 2015.