£1bn council contract for energy-from-waste facility

Suffolk County Council has announced a £1billion plan to build a waste management facility in the region capable of powering more than 30,000 homes.

Construction of the new facility is the ultimate ambition of a new 25-year Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract the council signed with recycling group SITA UK, last week.

The partnership will now work to design, build and open the energy-from-waste centre by 2014.

Officials in the partnership are claiming the new facility will be capable of managing up to 269,000 tonnes of waste per annum, saving the equivalent of 75,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.

Lisa Chambers, portfolio holder for waste at Suffolk County Council, said the partnership was formed to manage the residual waste once all recycling and composting avenues are exhausted.

“We needed to find the best possible solution for dealing with the waste which is left over,” Mrs Chambers said.

“The signing of this contract takes us one step closer to that solution and represents tremendous value for money for Suffolk, which in the current economic climate is very good news.”

The council’s partner in the operation, SITA UK, is a subdivision of Suez Environment – a recognised world leader in water and waste management – and was selected as the preferred bidder for the scheme just four months ago.

A site in Great Blakenham, near Ipswich, has been secured and, if planning permission is secured in 2011, Suez Environment claim the facility should be operating by late 2014.

Sam Plester

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