Fears that repeated delays for Greater Manchesters £3bn waste deal signalled collapse have been allayed as a three to four week estimate for financial close has been announced.
Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) admitted that the upheavals in the national and international economic markets had impacted directly on the deal.
However, in a progress statement, the authority said that the main commercial aspects of the contract had been agreed and that the final credit approvals processes were scheduled to take about three to four weeks.
The partnership also confirmed that the majority of the funding had been secured. This includes a capital contribution of £70 million from GMWDA to cover additions to the original plan. The remaining money for the project is still to be approved by the commercial banks.
GMWDA chairman councillor Neil Swannick said: We are ready to sign the contract as soon as the banks have completed their processes of approval. We have a timeline from the sponsors and funders with milestones in place for close. Sponsors and funders are working with the authority to achieve close at the earliest opportunity.
This is the largest waste services contract in western Europe, [because of] the complexity and sheer volume of documentation, coupled with the unforeseen credit crisis, some delay is not unexpected. Indeed, it is normal for many major contracts of this size and duration to experience some date changes. Our focus is ensuring that we reach the earliest possible close.