The search for a contractor for a £683m energy from waste (EfW) plant in North London has kicked-off.
The North London Waste Authority (NLWA) called for bids for the design, construction, commissioning and testing of the plant today in a tender notice. The project involves the construction of an energy-recovery facility which will replace the current plant located on the River Lee in Edmonton which processes waste for seven London boroughs.
The contract is set to run for almost four years (45 months) and will involve construction of all associated buildings, infrastructure and landscaping works, as well as training of operational staff by the selected contractor. Alongside the EfW plant, the project also includes the construction of EcoPark South, a visitor centre for people to learn about waste, power, heat and recycling.
Plans for the scheme have been in motion since it received a development consent order in February 2017. In October last year, the NLWA held a market information event for the project, which was estimated to cost between £500m-£770m at the time.
Even after the market event, there was an “uphill struggle” to generate interest in early parts of the project, programme director David Cullen told the Construction News Summit in December. Though had said the work to promote preliminary works had ultimately been successful.
The EfW market has been challenging for a number of firms in recent years, with companies such as Sir Robert McAlpine and Interserve withdrawing from the market. This year two plants with which Balfour Beatty is in a joint venture with Spanish waste giant Urbaser, called UBB, have been the subject of legal disputes. UBB lost its dispute with Essex County Council over the design on Tovi Eco Park in Basildon, and a judge ruled the JV should pay more than £10m in damages. A verdict on whether a council breached procurement rules is still awaited on the second UBB project, a £500m EfW plant in Gloucestershire.
In November, CN explored the challenges facing contractors looking to enter the EfW sector, including high-profile problem projects and growing competition from overseas firms.