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Wakefield PFI deal closure in sight

Wakefield council’s £750m waste PFI contract is expected to reach financial closure in September, five years after a preferred bidder was chosen.

The Wakefield scheme includes the development of recycling, autoclave and anaerobic digestion facilities at South Kirkby to treat 180,000 tonnes of waste a year.

The news follows the council bidding for Green Investment Bank (GIB) funding in order to bring the project to close, as revealed by MRW in June.

The council refused to comment on how much funding had it had received from the GIB.

The deal was originally expected to be completed in 2010 after VT Group was originally chosen as preferred bidder for the contract in 2007.

But the company was bought by Babcock in 2010 after the recession pushed back the contract signing. Waste firm Shanks was chosen to partner with Babcock to complete the PFI deal in February this year.

However, this was again delayed due to changes in the preferred bidder, according to the council.

The council said the contract is now set for financial close in the middle of September.

Under the proposals, a new facility using autoclave technology will be built to treat residual waste at South Kirkby.

The plant will produce a refuse derived fuel for processing at a multi-fuel plant being built at the SSE Ferrybridge power station and a digestate for land remediation and will generate heat and power for the whole South Kirkby plant with excess power exported to the national grid.

The South Kirkby site will include a MRF for separating dry recycled materials like paper, card, glass bottles, cans and plastics and an enclosed windrow composting plant for treating garden waste.

Shanks will also take over the running of the council’s existing Household Waste Recycling Centres, transfer stations and bring sites and will have responsibility for recycling and disposal of all municipal waste collected by the authority.

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