At the beginning of August the long-term waste management contract between ourselves, Derby City Council and Resource Recovery Solutions (Derbyshire) Ltd (RRS) came to an end. However the task of building and operating a gasification waste treatment centre in Sinfin continues.
Since then the facility temporarily ceased accepting waste and the councils have been working hard behind the scenes with contractor Renewi to remove the remaining waste in preparation for cleaning – a key milestone for the project.
Councillor Simon Spencer, Cabinet Member for Highways Transport and Infrastructure at Derbyshire County Council, said:
“Ongoing negotiations and disputes between RRS and the councils over the condition of the facility ultimately led to the contract ending, and though this was extremely disappointing, both councils remain confident that the waste treatment centre still offers the best value for money compared to the alternatives available, and are continuing to work to ensure this is still the case.”
Work to determine the facility’s current condition and capability also continues and will be the next major milestone for the project. This work is being carried out by Renewi, who signed a two-year contract with the councils in August. The outcome of their investigatory work will determine next steps for the facility, with more detail of this likely to be known in the new year.
Behind the scenes, discussions about the plant’s ‘estimated fair value’ are also ongoing – this is the value of the plant taking into account all of the costs of rectifying ongoing issues and the costs of providing the services to meet the agreed contract standards.
The termination of the contract followed months of negotiations with RRS after the councils asked funders to step in and get the delayed facility up and running. The plant was due to open in 2017.
Councillor Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council said:
“This is a key stage for the project, and I’m pleased to see work progressing.
“With such a long-standing and important project, it’s prudent to take stock of where we currently are, and what measures need to be in place for the facility to become fully operational. By doing this, we’re giving ourselves the greatest chance for success.”
The completed facility aims to divert waste from landfill by heat-treating waste to produce a gas which is then burned to create electricity.