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Final bidders selected for Merseyside Waste Diposal Authority PFI contract

The Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority has selected the final two bidders for its multi-million pound private finance initiative contract.

The two bidders in the running for the 25-year contract are waste companies Sita UK and Covanta. Two other bidders which include Resource from Waste Alliance (made up of a consortium of property management firm Land Securities and Trillium) and Mersey Green Energy (previously Shanks, joined by Wheelabrator Technologies) did not make it to the last round and are no longer in the running for the deal.

One of the two firms will be charged with building, designing and operating a facility or facilities to treat an estimated 500,000 tonnes per year of the regions waste. A MWDA spokeswoman said that no technology or site had been specified for the contract.

MWDA chairperson councillor Kevin Cluskey said: The authority is very pleased with the progress of the contract and the quality of the proposals that are being brought forward. We are confident that the next stages of the process will result in cost-effective and sustainable solutions to Merseyside and Haltons future waste and recycling needs.

The contract capital expenditure value is in the region of £400m, and is the second of two major waste contracts the MWDA has been procuring over the past few years, with a combined value of £3.3 billion.

It is believed to be the second highest valued PFI waste contract after the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal deal which was valued at £3.8bn.

In May, the MWDA signed a £640m waste and recycling deal with Veolia Environmental Services. Veolia will operate the MWDAs household waste recycling centres, waste transfer station and materials recycling facility.

The next steps for the PFI-funded waste treatment agreement are set to involve further evaluation of the two bidders before a call for final tenders, with the aim of appointing a preferred bidder towards the end of 2010 and reaching financial close in early 2011.

MWDA director Carl Beer said: We continue to pursue a comprehensive sites acquisition and planning strategy, and there is still a lot of work to do with both Sita and Covanta before we select a preferred bidder and get on with delivering the winning solution.

MWDA is procuring new contracts on behalf of the Merseyside and Halton Waste Partnership which includes: Halton Council, Knowsley Council, Liverpool City Council, Sefton Council, St Helens Council and Wirral Council. The PFI deals aim to help the authority deliver new waste facilities for the region in order to increase recycling rates above 40 per cent by 2020.

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