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Prestigious international award for residual waste treatment project

5 June 2013

The South London Waste Partnership has won a prestigious international award for its Residual Waste Treatment project.

Judges at the Partnerships Awards 2013 praised the “innovative response to losing PFI credits” and “welcomed the high level of partnership working between the public and private sectors”.

The Partnership was victorious in the ‘Best Waste/Energy/Water Project’ category, beating a shortlist of major infrastructure projects from across the world including: Carrington Power Station (UK), The Egyptian Refining Company (Egypt), Mundaring Water Treatment Plant (Australia) and Leeds Residual Waste PFI Project (UK).

Commenting on the South London Waste Partnership’s project, the judging panel said: “This project to treat 200,000 tonnes per year of waste is designed to achieve 92% landfill diversion, while creating up to 26MW of electricity, with a heat capacity of 20MW, which may be used to support a local district heating system.

“Having had its PFI credits withdrawn in the 2010 Spending Review, this project’s public and private sector partners have reacted positively to the challenge and have been highly successful in delivering a new scheme. Significant third-party usage of the plant has been built into the contract, which reached financial close in good time while achieving optimal and efficient risk transfer.

“Judges were impressed by the project’s innovative response to losing its PFI credits, which demonstrates how a scheme can be developed without central government investment. They welcomed the high level of partnership working between the public and private sectors as a model of what can be achieved through PPPs.”

Rachel Lewis, Chair of the South London Waste Partnership Management Group, said:

“We are delighted with this award.  It is testimony to the hard work of our project team and the clear strategic vision of the councils, who eventually triumphed despite losing a huge amount of PFI investment.”

The Partnerships Awards 2013 reward those schemes, companies and individuals that have gone the extra mile to show that partnership projects are about more than saving the public purse, providing a range of other, often unquantifiable benefits to the public sector and wider community.


Notes for editors: 

The South London Waste Partnership –

  • The South London Waste Partnership (‘the Partnership’) is a group of four London Authorities (Croydon, Kingston, Merton and Sutton) that are working together to provide improved waste management services across the area.
  • This is an unusual arrangement within the UK as it comprises four unitary boroughs who have voluntarily created formal arrangements for the procurement and management of contracts to treat and dispose of waste.
  • The current focus of the Partnership’s activities is to divert waste away from landfill.  Landfill tax is increasing at a rate of £8 per tonne per year.   These escalating costs are making landfill not only environmentally unsustainable but financially prohibitive as well.
  • Reducing, reusing and recycling remains the best way of diverting waste away from landfill.  With the help and commitment of residents, the four partner boroughs are all making substantial progress in this area – the Partnership procures and manages contracts for improved local recycling and composting facilities to ensure that this progress continues.
  • The Partnership has awarded and now manages four separate contracts:
    • Transfer, transportation and landfill disposal: awarded to Viridor in 2008
    • Management of seven Household Reuse and Recycling Centres located across the four boroughs: awarded to EWC in 2008
    • Provision of materials recycling facilities and organic waste treatment (including kitchen and green waste): awarded to Viridor in 2008.
    • Treatment of residual waste: awarded to Viridor in 2012.  This contract will ensure that from 2017, around 200,000 tonnes of ‘residual household waste’ (rubbish left over after residents have separated materials for recycling or composting) will no longer be buried in expensive and environmentally unsustainable landfill.  Instead, Viridor will treat it in a modern Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) in Beddington, for which they achieved planning permission in May 2013.  This facility will dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cut CO2 emissions by nearly 128,000 tonnes every year, generate enough sustainable electricity to power around 30,000 homes and save the four partner boroughs around £200m over the 25-year lifetime of the contract.  Viridor will provide an interim service to the Partnership until the facility is operational.  The interim service is guaranteed to be at the contracted price and will commence in April 2014.

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