SITA UK seals 30-year waste deal

The Merseyside facility, in which the firm and its partners plan to invest more than €295m, will have a power generation capacity of 49MW.

A conglomerate led by SITA UK, a subsidiary of French utility Suez Environment, has signed a 30-year public private partnership (PPP) with the Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority to convert household waste into energy.

The contract will involve financing, building and operating a new facility to manage more than 430,000 tonnes of waste annually. The chosen grouping, which also involves the UK subsidiary of Singapore’s Sembcorp Industries and Japanese trading company Itochu Corporation, was announced preferred bidder in April 2013.

The consortium plans to spend €295 million on new infrastructure to service the contract, which is worth just over €2 billion in total revenue over its duration. This includes the management of third-party waste as well as the sale of electricity to the national grid.

The services will be contracted by the Merseyside and Halton Waste Partnership, which represents more than 600,000 households and a population of approximately 1.5 million.

Residual waste will be collected and taken to a new rail-linked transfer station – which has the capacity to handle up to half a million tonnes annually – and then be shipped by rail to a new 49-megawatts (MW) energy-from-waste plant at the Wilton International industrial estate in Teesside, north-east England. Suez says the facility will generate enough electricity to power around 63,000 homes.

Suez claims the project will enable the Merseyside and Halton Waste Partnership to divert more than 92 percent of its residual waste from landfill. Depending on local demand, it will also be able to provide heat to local businesses, via a district heating system that will have the capacity to deliver up to 190 tonnes of steam an hour.

The contract is one of two large PPPs won last year by SITA. The firm, along with consortium partners Lloyds Banking Group and Itochu Corporation, was also chosen as preferred bidder for a £900 million (€1.1 billion; $1.5 billion), 25-year energy-from-waste contract by West London Waste Authority last May.