17 December 2013 #Public Sector
Collaborating councils Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport City complete their largest ever procurement, announcing BIOGEN (UK) Ltd will operate new food waste to energy plant.
Clarkslegal’s clients, the local authorities that make up the Tomorrow’s Valley (Cwm Yfory) procurement hub, have announced the completion of one of the most high profile public sector environment projects in Wales of recent times. The result of a six year procurement process is the confirmation of BIOGEN (UK) Ltd to build and operate a new anaerobic digestion unit based in Rhondda Cynon Taf, its third food waste to energy plant in Wales.
The new plant will have the capacity to convert 22,500 tonnes of food waste in to green electricity, and, based on current food waste recycling rates across the three councils involved, this could result in a further one megawatt of green electricity being generated, powering 1,500 homes. It is expected that the plant will be operational and generating electricity by late 2014.
Two of the local authorities currently send their food waste to anaerobic digestion facility in England, the other uses a composting facility in South East Wales. According to WRAP Cymru, having a local plant will reduce the Councils’ carbon footprints and save almost £2 million over the 15 year contract.
Tomorrow’s Valley was established to deliver the most environmentally friendly way to turn food waste in to a reusable fuel. Rhondda Cynon Taf Cabinet Member for Frontline Services, Councillor Andrew Morgan, said: "We are pleased that the food waste project will get underway in earnest in the New Year. The success of this partnership proves our continued commitment to working towards a more sustainable and environmentally-focused future, through innovative and efficient waste, recycling and re-use practices."
The scheme, which uses the Welsh Government’s favoured treatment process for dealing with food waste, was supported by the Welsh Government’s Regional Capital Access Fund. It was given Pathfinder status in Wales for this type of procurement and, due to Clarkslegal’s involvement throughout, we were also asked to assist the Welsh Government on the drafting of standard contract documentation being used throughout Wales. Our role in this project demonstrates our expertise in dealing with complex PPP arrangements and procurement law in the environment sector.