Buckinghamshire County Council has awarded preferred bidder status to Waste Recycling Group (WRG) for the 30 year contract to build an energy from waste facility to treat the county’s household waste.
WRG’s proposed facility will convert about 300,000 tonnes of waste per year into 22MW of electricity. The company is also evaluating how the heat generated from the plant could be used.
The move marks a change of in decision by the county council, as in September 2009 it had agreed to appoint Covanta Energy as preferred bidder, for its proposal to provide an energy from waste service from its site at Rookery South Pit near Stewartby, Bedfordshire. But the council said that when Covanta was clarifying the terms of its appointment, it made the council aware of an undisclosed commercial matter which impacted on aspects of the bid.
Councillor Martin Tett, cabinet member for planning and environment, said the announcement “may come of some surprise” but said he had “personally spent a considerable amount of time understanding both the process and the key elements of the recommendation by the professional experts on the Project Board”.
He added: “Both bidders offered very good solutions for Buckinghamshire and were of a high standard, making the decision difficult … I am confident that the solution proposed by WRG is in the best interest of our council tax payers.”
In response, Covanta Energy said: “We are disappointed not to have been appointed as we believe our solution offered a value for money and environmentally beneficial solution to Buckinghamshire waste treatment needs. We await further feedback on our submission from the county council.”
The final contract, which is predicted to save Buckinghamshire more than £100m in landfill costs over the length of the contract, is unlikely to be finalised until summer 2011.