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PFI progress for major waste infrastructure projects

Four projects planning major waste infrastructure can progress to the next stage in securing Private Finance Initiative (PFI) credits, said the Government.

PFI credits can be obtained under the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Waste Infrastructure Delivery Programme (WIDP), which was established to speed up the delivery of waste infrastructure.

The successful authorities are: South Tyne & Wear, made up of Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council (MBC) and South Tyneside & Sunderland City Council; South London Partnership, made up of the London Boroughs of Croydon, Kingston, Merton & Sutton; Suffolk County Council; and Bradford MBC.

WIDP head of project development John Enright said: The projects are unusual because they cluster together local authorities as a unitary authority. These projects are also looking at capital expenditure elements, as well as opening up the market for collections and materials recycling facilities.

The next step for the projects will be to submit outline business cases (OBC) to Defras WIDP by October 31 2007. If approved, the schemes will be advertised in the Official Journal of European Union in spring 2008.

The WIDPs aim is to give authorities support, including financial help through PFI credits, grants and consultancy. The 2006 revised waste PFI credit criteria emphasises the economic benefits possible from collaborative working by local authorities. There is a two-step application process, which consists of an expression of interest (EOI) and an OBC.

The closing date for an EOI in the next PFI award round is September 30 2007.  Successful authorities will be required to submit their OBC by April 2008 with approval expected next summer.


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