GMWDA begins procurement process after PFI breakdown

Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) has begun seeking a new contractor to deliver waste services to the region following the premature end of its landmark 25-year, £3.2-billion PFI contract with the joint venture between waste firm Viridor and infrastructure group John Laing last month.

The deal, signed in 2009 to see the consortium handle around 1.3 million tonnes of material from 2.2 million residents a year, was officially terminated on 29 September after unrectifiable budget issues caused by rising disposal costs. The cost of recycling and waste management services rose to around £166 million a year, a sum that is paid for through a levy of each of the nine local authorities within the GMWDA.

GMWDA begins procurement process after PFI breakdown
The GMWDA issued a procurement prior information notice (PIN) last week ahead of a formal notice scheduled for November.

The authority says it is seeking procure waste and resource management services for the region, including residual waste management services, household waste recycling and transfer services, bio waste management services, and all associated works.

It has previously said that it expects to create more savings when the new contract begins in April 2019. In total, it predicts savings of around £37 million per year from that month.

These services will include the management of five residual waste sites, 20 household waste recycling centres (HWRCs), eight transfer loading stations, the authority’s thermal recovery facility in Bolton, a materials recovery facility, a number of biowaste facilities, the obligation to produce refuse derived fuel and associated rail transport and supply to the Runcorn Thermal Power Station.

As part of the PFI termination, the GMWDA acquired the company set up by the consortium, Viridor Laing (Greater Manchester) Limited, for £1.

It will be renaming the company as Greater Manchester Combined Waste and Recycling (GMCWR). Head of Corporate Services & Deputy Monitoring Officer Sarah Mellor and Deputy Treasurer Mark Stenson be appointed as initial directors of the company.

GMCWR will be carrying out waste and recycling services across Manchester on an interim basis until the schedules commencement of the new contract in April 2019.

When announcing the termination of the old deal, the GMWDA also said that it will be carrying out refinancing arrangements from which it predicts it will save £20 million a year, with additional operational savings to be gained from modifications to facilities developed through the contract.

Ahead of the procurement, a suppliers briefing session is being held on the afternoon of Thursday 2 November at Manchester Art Gallery, the session will outline the GMWDAs aspirations for the project, detail the scope and the procurement process with timescales and submission requirements. 

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