Derbyshire County Council and Derby City Council have formally asked the banks behind the delayed Sinfin waste processing and energy-from-waste (EfW) plant to intervene in order to save the project.
In a joint statement, the councils said they would terminate the contract with Resource Recovery Solutions (RRS), a partnership between Interserve and Renewi, if the banks did not take action.
The RRS facility includes a gasification facility, which was due to open in 2017 but has been beset by a series of technical problems.
The councils’ join statement said: “RRS has still not been able to resolve ongoing issues at the plant to allow it to pass the certified performance tests needed to bring it into full service.”
Sinfin is financially backed by the UK Green Infrastructure Platform and three international banks: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Shinsei Bank from Japan and Bayerische Landesbank from Germany.
The councils said it would still push to complete the facility if the contract with RRS is terminated.
Simon Spencer, deputy leader at Derbyshire County, said: “We’ve given RRS every opportunity to get the waste treatment centre up and running. But we cannot wait indefinitely, and the fact that the plant still has not passed certified performance tests is clearly of enormous concern to us.
“The contract gives specific rights to the funders to step into the project. So far they have not exercised their rights, but the time has come to formally give notice to them that they should step in.
“We don’t want to end our contract with RRS but, if the funders cannot find a robust way to push the project forward, then we will be left with little choice.”
Don McLure, Derby City strategic director of corporate resources, said: “We’ve been pushing RRS to resolve outstanding issues at the plant and pass certified performance tests but, unfortunately, the delays continue.
“We need a facility to give us certainty about the future cost of dealing with Derby and Derbyshire’s waste, and this is the best option to get the plant fully operational as soon as possible.”