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Third delay for Manchester PFI contract

The signing of Manchester’s multi-billion pound waste disposal contract has been put back for the third time, following difficulties completing negotiations over refuse derived fuel.

A report which went before the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority on Friday revealed that the deadline for closing the deal with preferred bidders Viridor and Laing has been put back once again, this time from next month to March 2008.

The reason for the delay in financial close is ensuring the right technological solution at the refuse derived fuel outlet at a known cost.
 
The set backs have already cost the Authority hundreds of thousands of pounds in consultant’s fees, after officers insisted in June that they had taken precautions to avoid financial problems associated with delay.

However, the GMWDA stressed that it was negotiating one of the largest contracts of its kind in Western Europe and explained that it was experiencing problems negotiating where to send its refuse derived fuel and at what cost.

A spokesperson said: “The reason for the delay in financial close is ensuring the right technological solution at the refuse derived fuel outlet at a known cost and agreeing the contractual arrangements.”

Treatment under Viridor and Laing’s proposals, around 600,000 tonnes of Greater Manchester’s waste which cannot be recycled will be taken to five new mechanical biological treatment and anaerobic digestion plants located in Salford, North & South Manchester, Oldham and Stockport.

These plants will create around 275,000 tonnes of a stabilised fuel which will be transported by rail to a new power generation facility that will supply both steam and electricity for use by chemical firm Ineos Chlor. More here…

The Waster: It was never going to be easy to procure this contract as this will probably be Europe’s largest single waste contract for a long while. GMWDA’s negotiators have a difficult task to achieve.

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