Banks Urged To Take Action On Sinfin Waste Plant

Derbyshire County Council and Derby City Council have issued a formal notice to the project’s funders to take action under the contract to secure the future of the delayed facility which is being built to deal with waste that residents in Derby and Derbyshire do not recycle.

The facility, which was due to open in 2017, is being built on the councils’ behalf by Resource Recovery Solutions (Derbyshire) Ltd (RRS) – a partnership between national construction firm Interserve, which is also building the plant, and waste management company Renewi.

But despite being more than two years overdue, RRS has still not been able to resolve ongoing issues at the plant to allow it to pass the certified performance tests needed to bring it into full service.

Both councils have reaffirmed their commitment to completing the facility; the banks funding the project now have the opportunity to step in and resolve these issues under the contract.

Funding for the facility is being loaned to RRS by the UK Green Infrastructure Platform and three leading international banks; Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Shinsei Bank from Japan and Bayerische Landesbank from Germany.

“We need a facility to give us certainty about the future cost of dealing with Derby and Derbyshire’s waste and this is the best option to get the plant fully operational as soon as possible.”

If the banks decide against taking action then the councils will bring their long-term waste management contract with RRS to an end and put measures in place to fix problems at the site so that the facility can be made fully operational.

Councillor Simon Spencer, Deputy Leader of Derbyshire County Council said: “We’ve given RRS every opportunity to get the waste treatment centre up-and-running. But we can’t wait indefinitely and the fact that the plant has still not passed certified performance tests is clearly of enormous concern to us.

“The contract gives specific rights to the funders to step into the project. So far they have not exercised their rights, but the time has come to formally give notice to them that they should step in. We don’t want to end our contract with RRS but if the funders cannot find a robust way to push the project forward then we will be left with little choice.”

Don McLure, Strategic Director of Corporate Resources at Derby City Council, said: “We’ve been pushing RRS to resolve outstanding issues at the plant and pass certified performance tests but unfortunately the delays continue.

“We need a facility to give us certainty about the future cost of dealing with Derby and Derbyshire’s waste and this is the best option to get the plant fully operational as soon as possible.”

This latest move by the two councils to secure the future of the plant follows their Cabinet meetings held in February to make sure they had all options available to them to take action if needed.

Both councils are confident that the waste treatment facility still offers the best value for money compared to sending waste to landfill sites and other waste treatment facilities in the UK and western Europe.

Once it is complete, the facility will divert 190,000 tonnes of waste per year away from landfill by heat-treating waste to produce a gas which is then burned to create enough electricity to power 14,000 homes.

RRS also manages nine of the councils’ household waste recycling centres and two waste transfer stations.

Councillor Spencer added: “If the project’s funders do not take action and our contract with RRS has to come to an end, contingency plans will be put in place to make sure our recycling centres continue to operate and we have access to disposal facilities for waste which households in Derby and Derbyshire do not recycle.”

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