Canada: P3s suitable for energy-from-waste

There are EFW projects that under certain circumstances can be sensibly procured as P3s, a PPP Canada study concludes.

The design-build-finance-operate-maintain (DBFOM) model can be applied to energy-from-waste (EFW) projects that cost more than C$75 million (€53.0 million; $67.6 million) PPP Canada concluded in its Energy-from-Waste Sector Study released today.

“In response to the substantial interest we have had from our clients looking to learn more about the suitability of P3s in solid waste management, we have undertaken an in-depth study that will be valuable to public infrastructure procurers seeking guidance on this front,” John McBride, chief executive of PPP Canada, the country’s authority on public-private partnerships (PPP; P3), said in a statement.

In its report, PPP Canada acknowledges that the size, technology, scope and affordability of each project will determine whether the P3 model is appropriate. However, in those cases where it is deemed suitable it should be considered, PPP Canada said, noting that in recent years public infrastructure procurers have indeed begun to consider P3s as they look to develop EFW facilities to reduce the flow of waste to landfills and to place greater emphasis on energy recovery.

“Although the Canadian Energy-from-Waste P3 market is still in its infancy, its potential for growth is noteworthy,” the government agency said, citing the Surrey Organics Biofuel Facility in Surrey, British Columbia, which is being procured using the DBFOM model.

The city of Surrey is expected to award the C$60 million project this autumn. Of the 11 teams that responded to a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), the following three were short-listed in February: Iris Solutions, Plenary Harvest Surrey and Urbaser.

Once completed, the facility, which will convert residential kitchen and yard waste into renewable fuel that will be used to power the city’s natural gas waste trucks, will be the first closed-loop, fully-integrated organics waste management system in North America.

The Canadian government has agreed to contribute up to C$16.9 million to the project through the C$1.25 billion P3 Canada Fund.

Based in Ottawa, Ontario, PPP Canada became operational in February 2009. It is charged with improving delivery of public infrastructure projects by providing expertise and advice in assessing and executing P3 opportunities at the federal level as well as leveraging greater value for money from federal government investments in provincial, territorial, municipal and First Nations infrastructure through the P3 Canada Fund. Its independent board of directors reports to Parliament through the Minister of Finance.