A SITA-led consortium has won the race for a massive waste contract on Merseyside.
It has gained preferred bidder status from Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority for 30-year £1.18bn contract to manage 430,000 tonnes of residual household waste each year.
The deal is thought to be the second highest valued PFI waste contract after that of Greater Manchester Waste Disposal, which was valued at £3.8bn. Covanta was the unsuccessful final bidder.
Waste will be collected in the five Merseyside council areas – Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton, and Wirral – and their neighbour Halton.
The consortium will build a transfer station where waste will be loaded onto trains at Knowsley to be taken to a new incinerator near Redcar, Teesside, where it will generate energy sufficient to power 63,000 homes.
Consortium members will design, build, finance and operate both facilities, which will together cost some £250m to build.
Both the rail transfer station and incinerator have planning permission and are due to be operational by 2016. There will be 49 new permanent engineering jobs created at Teeside and 24 in Knowsley, while around 480 temporary construction jobs will be created during the builds.
Income from electricity sales and handling third party waste is expected to add some £580,000 to the contract’s value.
SITA UK chief executive David Palmer-Jones said: “We are delighted to be selected as preferred bidder for this major contract.
“The two new facilities that we will develop will enable all of Merseyside’s household waste to be put to good use.
“The new energy-from-waste facility provides a sustainable way to manage waste and further strengthens the north east as a centre for energy recovery in the UK.”
The other consortium members are Sembcorp Utilities UK, which manages the site of the incinerator in Teesside, and I-Environment, a wholly owned subsidiary of trading company Itochu Corporation.
Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority chief executive Carl Beer said: “We are extremely pleased to have progressed to this stage. I’m confident that we can now work towards putting our plans in place and concentrate on providing future generations in Merseyside and Halton with an effective and sustainable waste solution.”