Plans to build a massive incinerator on the outskirts of Derry have moved a step closer.
The £500 million project has been described as one of the largest and most complicated public procurement exercises in Northern Ireland.
It’s understood the ‘gasification’ plant at Maydown will handle 120,000 tonnes of waste annually and supply 30 Giga Watt hours of renewable electricity to the grid - that’s enough to support the energy needs of 6,000 homes annually.
It’s estimated the facilities will create 200 construction jobs and a further 40 full-time posts when they become operational.
Councils on the North West Region Waste Management Group (NWRWMG) have now agreed to appoint a consortium consisting of Shanks, Brickkiln and Sisk as its preferred bidder in the multi-million pound procurement exercise to deliver the project.
In December 2012, the NWRWMG’s Joint Committee recommended the consortium as the preferred bidder to its seven constituent Councils, including Derry City Council.
Following a period of consideration, all seven Councils have now approved the NWRWMG’s recommendation.
The consortium, known as SBS Waste Partnership, will now enter a final period of fine tuning with the NWRWMG in preparation for the signature of the contract to deliver a mix of Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) and gasification technologies.
Councillor Evelyne Robinson, Chair of the NWRWMG’s Joint Committee, said: “I am delighted that the north west is on course to become the province’s most environmentally friendly region in the area of waste management.”
Tommy McGlinchey, Managing Director of Brickkiln Waste Ltd on behalf of SBS Waste Partnership, said: “Much work remains to be done to deliver our approved and tested solution, and we look forward to working closely with NWRWMG in the coming weeks and months to move the project forward.”
Brickkiln is a Derry-based firm specialising in waste management and civil engineering, Sisk is an international construction company based in Dublin while Shanks is an international waste management business.
Pending signature of the contract between NWRWMG and the preferred bidder, and the award of an operating licence to the consortium, it is expected that the first of the facilities will become operational in 2015 with commissioning of the full plant by late 2016.
Recently, campaigners opposed to the siting of the incinerator at Maydown said they were ready to go to court to stop the plan going ahead.
They want Environment Minister Alex Attwood to overturn planning approval to build the plant which, if completed, will recycle waste from Derry, Strabane, Limavady, Coleraine, Ballymoney, Magherafelt and Moyle councils.
A petition against the incineration with 1,000 signatures was recently handed over to Derry City Council.