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Debut for Australian firm as it bids to run alternative biowaste sites

By Paul Sanderson

An Australian firm is hoping to make its first entry into the UK market by bidding to build and operate alternative technology plants for Lancashire County Council.

Global Renewables, owned by Australian businesses GRD and Hastings Fund Management, currently runs a mechanical biological treatment (MBT) plant in Sydney.

Lancashire County Council and its 12 district councils and two adjoining unitary authorities plan to build 11 alternative technology plants that will prevent much of the countys domestic green and kitchen waste from going to landfill.

The council has put out a tender to run the 11 sites that will be a mixture of anaerobic digestion, in-vessel composting and MBT plants.

Lancashire County Councils decision to embrace alternative technologies has cross-party support and also the backing of all its borough councils.

County councillor Bernard Whittle said: This will help us deliver our strategy of achieving our 56% recycling target. We have already picked 11 sites, but most of them still need to go through the planning permission process. However, as the sites are all more than 250 metres away from domestic properties, and we have selected the sites with the borough councils, we dont expect too many problems.

Lancashire was last year awarded £75m by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to support its 25-year private finance initiative (PFI) to run nine of the plants.

The first of the plants, which is being built outside the PFI contract, is due to open in January.

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