A HALT to incinerator plans has been called for after a final bidder pulled out.
Calls to scrap a giant burner in Deeside followed news that only one company was left in the running.
But Flintshire Council says it is pushing ahead and negotiating a more competitive deal.
Waste experts Sita UK and Wheelabrator were competing for the facility to deal with 150,000 tonnes of waste a year.
But now Sita has withdrawn its proposal, prompting calls to abandon the whole project.
“Due to this announcement I am calling for a halt to the whole process,” said Flintshire councillor for Connah’s Quay Central Bernie Attridge.
“I feel nothing can be done with only one preferred bidder.
“How can anybody be assured that the council has made the safest choice when there’s only one bidder left?
“I have grave concerns over the lack of options and want the whole process to be stopped.”
The plant, tipped to cost £800 million over 25 years, would take waste from Flintshire, Denbighshire, Anglesey, Gwynedd and Conwy.
The North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project (NWRWTP) had confirmed a plot on the Deeside Industrial Estate to the right of the UPM paper mill.
Flintshire councillor for Connah’s Quay South, Ian Dunbar said: “I think they should go back to the drawing board now.
“How can it be fair to the community who put up a relentless fight against the incinerator to be informed that it is being given to the only company left?
“Wheelabrator would be in a position of power and could state their own conditions.
“We were trying to get something so that the community received some benefit..”
SITA UK chief executive David Palmer-Jones, said: “After careful consideration we have decided to withdraw from the North Wales procurement tender.
“The key reason is that upon review, in the current economic climate, this project ranks lower for us than our other opportunities.”
A statement from NWRWTP said: “The three year procurement process is reaching the stage of closure of ‘competitive dialogue’.
“A final selection decision between SITA UK and Wheelabrator Technologies Incorporated – the two bidders selected for the final stage of competitive procurement from the original seven – had been planned to be made over the summer.
“Both bidders had submitted highly competitive bids with competitive pricing offers and proven technological solutions. Negotiations will now continue with Wheelabrator alone before a final decision is made on whether to appoint them as the preferred bidder.
“The joint committee will be making a fuller statement later this week.
“The joint committee is being advised to proceed with the final stages of negotiation with Wheelabrator by all of its advisors and by Welsh Government officials.
“There are no legal risks to completing the procurement process in this way and this project is not the first in the UK to be in such a position late in the procurement process.
“The project is already assured of a highly competitive and value for money final offer from Wheelabrator.
“The committee is being advised to improve further the competitiveness of the final bidder in the final stages of negotiation.”