Tender choice for controversial Deeside incinerator plan to be debated

Published date: 28 January 2014 |
Published by: Owen Evans 
Read more articles by Owen Evans  Email reporter


CRUNCH talks on the future of the controversial Deeside incinerator plan will take
place tomorrow.

The joint committee of the North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project (NWRWTP) will meet to discuss the final tender lodged by Wheelabrator Technologies Inc (WTI) to build a huge incinerator on the Deeside Industrial Estate.

The incinerator – dubbed the Deeside burner – would burn 150,000 tonnes of waste a year from across North Wales, creating energy from waste.

The partnership meeting, made up of representatives from five local authorities – with Flintshire Council as the ‘lead authority’ – will decide whether to agree upon the tender.

In a meeting in September, held behind closed doors, the committee invited the company to submit its bid for the controversial £800 million project, despite serious concernsabout a lack of tendering competition, given it was the only bidder left.

Last year, another bidder SITA UK withdrew from negotiations leaving only WTI in the running.

Councillors at the time argued continuing with the process was “unfair”. But it has emerged that at the September meeting the committee considered it to be safe to
continue with the tendering process.

Minutes of the meeting read: “A review of the risks had been undertaken by the partnership's advisors Amec (technical), Pinsent Masons solicitors (legal) and Grant Thornton (financial) and the Heads of Finance and Legal and Democratic
Services (Flintshire).

“In light of their joint advice, the balance of risk favoured proceeding with the procurement process.”

The minutes also revealed the committee decided on WTI operating the facility and road transportation elements of the burner only.

According to the report, this would mean “a separate delivery stream is required to deliver the partnership’s self-performed services”.

The councils in the partnership, which is also made up of Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy and Denbighshire authorities, need the plant so the amount of rubbish sent to landfill is reduced to help meet Welsh Government targets.

Deputy council leader Bernie Attridge and council leader Aaron Shotton, both from Connah’s Quay, have previously said Flintshire cannot get out of the partnership
following an agreement signed by the previous coalition administration.

Cllr Kevin Jones, cabinet member for public protection, waste and recycling, said: “If everything is agreed by the authorities following on from the meeting on Wednesday,
the process will be to take the detailed information to each of the other four councils and that will be the starting point of the finalisation.”

A spokesman for NWRWTP said: “NWRWTP agreed to proceed with the final stages of ‘competitive dialogue’ with the remaining bidder, WTI, earlier in 2013.

“Negotiations have continued positively with WTI in that time, before the partnership is due to make a final decision whether to select WTI as the preferred bidder to construct and operate a residual waste facility for the region.

"The NWRWTP joint committee has been through a rigorous and detailed scrutiny process and had been satisfied with the advice of its advisers and the advice of Welsh Government officials to proceed with the procurement process.

“The joint committee has been 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 has also been 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.

“It should also be noted the NWRWTP has benefited from a highly competitive procurement process from the outset, with bids received from a large field of
experienced companies, and WTI had to compete throughout each of the procurement stages to get to the final stage.

“The project team will continue to negotiate the most competitive bid possible to assure the consortium councils, the Welsh Government and the public that value for money is secured.

"The joint committee noted the bids of WTI and the bidders previously in the process were almost identical. Given the advanced stage the procurement process had reached and the ongoing negotiations with WTI the joint committee was in complete
agreement to proceed.

"The NWRWTP has worked constructively and in great detail with WTI to maximise value for money for the partnership."

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  1. Posted by: wonderwho at 18:25 on 28 January 2014 Report

    Looks like a big gravy train I bet North Wales will get shafted on this one and I guarantee the final cost will be 30 to 50% more than estimate, another huge job for consultants at the tax payers cost, councils well out of there depth here !!!!

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