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Is Greater Manchester closer to sealing PFI deal?

It appears that the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) and its preferred bidder to run the £3 billion 25-year year private finance initiative (PFI) deal may finally be close to signing the contract.

The authority has committed to a timetable put forward by the consortium of Viridor Waste Management and John Laing Investments (Viridor Laing) to achieve financial close by June 6 2008.

GMWDA chair councillor Neil Swannick said: Although the authority is disappointed to not yet have commenced the new contract, we are pleased with the continued progress being made and believe that we will be in a good position to sign the contract early next month.
Viridor Waste Management managing director Mike Hellings added: Viridor Laing is satisfied that good headway is being made with the completion of the project agreement and the excellent planning results. We share the GMWDAs disappointment not to be commencing operations in May as anticipated and remain fully committed to achieving full contractual close on June 6.

Part of the delay has been due to getting planning permission for new facilities as well as a ministerial decision for a thermal power station in Runcorn. The contract involves dealing with 1.4 million tonnes of waste from Greater Manchester each year.

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