Government pulls plug on three major waste projects

Aaron Morby 11 years ago

The Government has withdrawn its financial support for three major waste incinerator schemes leaving contractors in limbo on major pipelines of work.

The decision to withdraw PFI credits vital to financing the projects was taken after Government decided it was backing enough schemes to fulfil the EU’s target of reducing waste sent to landfill in the UK.

All other planned projects other than 29 already earmarked for support will also be stopped in their tracks.

Most advanced projects hit are Skanska’s waste-to-energy plant in Bradford and AmeyCespa’s in Allerton, North Yorkshire where Vinci was main contractor on the £65m job.

It is a particular blow for Skanska, which was gearing up for its debut project in the specialist energy from waste market with joint venture partner AECOM .

Another scheme planned for Merseyside and Halton has also had its financial support withdrawn.

The decision is a huge blow to sector and means that no other scheme than the 29 earmarked for support will be built for the time being.

A DEFRA spokesperson said: “We are investing £3.6 billion in 29 waste infrastructure projects. This will reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, promote recycling and stimulate economic growth.

“We now expect to have sufficient infrastructure in England to enable the UK to meet the EU target of reducing waste sent to landfill. Consequently the decision has been taken not to fund the remaining three projects.

“This does not necessarily mean the three projects will stop. That will be a decision for the Local Authorities concerned. We will continue to provide commercial and technical advice to those projects that continue with their procurement process.”

Councils are now looking at how to make up the project funding shortfalls but with budgets stretched firms are not holding out hope of alternative funding.

Patrick Twist, Infrastructure Partner at Pinsent Masons, said: “The Government had previously withdrawn credits from seven projects in 2010 but allowed these three to proceed.

“It is difficult to reconcile this very late withdrawal of support by Defra with the Coalition’s stated commitment to investing in economic infrastructure and boosting the construction industry.

“Without Waste Infrastructure Credits, the three projects are unlikely to proceed.”


Schemes built and going ahead
Project WI credits approved (£m) Contract signed Current project status Contractor
Isle of Wight 13 Signed 1997/98 Fully Operational Biffa
Herefordshire & Worcestershire 57.4 Signed 1998/99 Partially Operational Mercia Waste Management
Kirklees 33.9 Signed 1997/98 Fully Operational Sita
South Gloucestershire 34.3 Signed 1999/00 Fully Operational Sita
Surrey 85.5 Signed 1999/00 Partially Operational Sita
Central Berkshire (i) 37 Signed 2006/07 Fully Operational WRG
East London Waste Authority 47 Signed 2002/03 Fully Operational Shanks
East Sussex, Brighton & Hove 49 Signed 2002/03 Fully Operational Veolia
Leicester City 30.84 Signed 2003/04 Fully Operational Biffa
West Sussex 25 Signed 2003/04 Fully Operational Viridor
West Berkshire 28.49 Signed 2007/08 In Construction Veolia
Cornwall 45 Signed 2006/07 Partially Operational Sita
Nottinghamshire 38.31 Signed 2006/07 Partially Operational Veolia
Lancashire 90 Signed 2006/07 Fully Operational Global Renewables
Northumberland 40.8 Signed 2006/07 Fully Operational Sita
Shropshire 40.8 Signed 2007/08 Partially Operational Veolia
Wakefield 33 Signed 2012/13 Contract Signed Shanks
Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority 124.5 Signed 2009/10 In Construction Viridor Laing
Southwark 34.5 Signed 2007/08 Fully Operational Veolia
Cambridgeshire 35 Signed 2007/08 Fully Operational Amey Cespa
Leeds 68.6 Signed 2012/13 Contract Signed Veolia
Suffolk 102 Signed 2010/11 In Construction Sita
Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham 77.4 Signed 2012/13 Contract Signed Shanks/Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE)
South Tyne & Wear (ii) 73.5 Signed 2010/11 [In Construction] Sita
Staffordshire 122.4 Signed 2010/11 In Construction Veolia
South West Devon Waste Partnership (iii) 95 Signed 2010/11 In Construction MVV Umwelt
Hertfordshire 115.3 Signed 2011/12 Contract Signed Veolia
Norfolk 91 Signed 2012/13 Contract Signed Cory Wheelabrator
Essex and Southend 100.9 Signed 2012/13 Contract Signed Urbaser/Balfour Beatty

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