PLANS for an incinerator are still going ahead despite there being just one bidder left.
The joint committee of the North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project (NWRWTP) is pressing ahead with the project after calls to abandon plans for the giant burner on Deeside.
Flintshire Council is one of five authorities working in partnership to create a facility to deal with 150,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste a year.
The contract, worth £800 million over 25 years, is set to be awarded in the next few months.
Last week, the Leader reported shortlisted SITA UK had withdrawn from negotiations leaving just Wheelbrator in the running.
The announcement was met with anger by a local councillor who branded it “unfair” to continue with just one bidder.
Connah’s Quay town councillor Bernie Attridge said: “How can anybody be assured 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.”
But the NWRWTP joint committee said the only difference between the two remaining waste experts was price.
Both wanted to use road and rail to transport waste to a facility to the right of Shotton Paper Mill on Deeside Industrial Park and offered almost identical technology.
A statement from NWRWTP’s joint committee said: “Having confirmed one of the remaining two bidders in the procurement process had withdrawn from the process the North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project has since met on February 20 to review the position.
“The joint committee, which is made up of the five councils of Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd and Ynys Mon, has agreed to proceed with the final stages of ‘competitive dialogue’ with the remaining bidder, Wheelabrator Technologies Incorporated before making a final decision whether to select Wheelabrator as the preferred bidder to construct and operate a residual waste facility for the region. This final selection decision will be made later in 2013.
“The joint committee was satisfied with the advice of its advisors and the advice of Welsh Government officials to proceed. The joint committee is satisfied the project will fully meet Welsh Government policy on waste, that there are no legal risks to completing the procurement process, and that it is fully meeting HM Treasury guidance for major procurement projects.
“The committee is satisfied the remaining bidder is developing a competitive bid which is already well within the cost limit it had set for all seven bidders at the outset.
“The project team will continue to negotiate the most competitive bid possible to assure the consortium councils, the Welsh Government and the public value for money is secured.
“The joint committee noted the bids of Wheelabrator and SITA UK were almost identical and that competitiveness of price had been the only issue to be closed before making a final decision between the two.
“Given the advanced stage the procurement process has reached and the on-going negotiations with Wheelabrator the joint committee was in complete agreement to proceed.”