High Court for Teesside Waste Recycler
By Anne Lewis Schneider
Challenge for £1.2bn Waste Recycling Deal
Plans to build a £200 million Waste Recycling Plant at Wilton have been put on hold, as Covanta Energy institutes legal proceedings after their unsuccessful bid to build the project, which has now been awarded to SITA UK.
The £1.2billion deal could be thrown into jeopardy by the issue of legal proceedings from unsuccessful bidder Covanta Energy. The project, which would send Merseyside’s household waste to be recycled into energy at the £200 million Wilton 11 Energy-from-Waste plant to be built on Teesside, has been challenged.
The plant, which will create jobs for 250 people, will not be stopped according to the Merseyside Recycling Waste Authority (MRWA). They have also said that they will stand firmly by their decision to award the project to SITA UK. MRWA have stated that the procurement process for the plant had been extensive and fair.
Covanta Energy have said in a 109-page submission to the High Court, that certain aspects of the tender by SITA are fundamentally unacceptable, and that MRWA should not proceed to enter into a contract with SITA without further tenders being opened for submission.
Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority announced through their chief executive, Carl Beer, that the preferred bidder is a consortium led by SITA. MWDA say that they regret the actions of Covanta, who although disappointed by their unsuccessful bid, must realise that MWDA conducted a fair and extensive procurement process over several years in the lead-up to awarding the plant to SITA UK. MWDA has therefore rejected the challenge and has made known that it intends to defend the claim thathas been brought against it. MWDA say that the most economically advantageous solution has been chosen for the plant.
MRWA has previously gone on record stating that the proposed contract will save the Liverpool City Council and its co-authorities £145million in landfill costs, and that it had the support of all six district councils which go to form the Merseyside and Halton Waste Partnership. MRWA have said that work on the deal would not be halted, and that they and SITA UK are working together to make sure that the contract progresses. In the meantime Covanta Energy are set to continue with their submission and High Court application to stop the construction of this energy-from-waste plant going ahead as envisaged in Teesside.
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