It is looking increasingly unlikely that the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority will sign its £3billion waste treatment contract today, despite plans for a long-awaited financial close.
“The negotiations for the new contract are progressing in a positive manner towards a close and the start of the new contract”; said Pam Taylor, GMWDA.
On April 11, the Authority said that it was on course to sign the long-term deal with preferred bidders Viridor and Laing on April 29.
This followed months of the Authority pushing the signing back, from an original date of June 2007.
However, today, the Authority would not comment on when the contract would be signed and remained tight-lipped over its progress.
Echoing a statement from earlier this month, a spokeswoman merely said that the authority was making good “progress” in its negotiations.
Pam Taylor, communications support officer for the GMWDA, said: “The negotiations for the new contract are progressing in a positive manner towards a close and the start of the new contract. As soon as any further information and pictures are available, these will be sent out.”
The GMWDA contract is hugely dependent on sending refuse derived fuel to an energy from waste plant being proposed by chemicals firm Ineos Chlor, which is still awaiting planning permission.
The application is currently being decided by John Hutton MP, secretary of state for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, but is not thought that it will be decided imminently – which could have contributed to the delay.
The Treasury is also adjusting the rules by which authorities and contractors have to adhere to in order to issue a promissory note for £100 million of PFI funding, already approved by Defra.
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.