Delays at £750m waste site could cost company £5m

Behind the scenes look of the new �100m one-site waste and recycling facility at South Kirkby, Wakefield, which will divert 95 per cent of waste away from landfill. Pictured site manager Mike Walter chats to Wakefield Council's Julia Greenwood.'11th February 2015.'Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Behind the scenes look of the new �100m one-site waste and recycling facility at South Kirkby, Wakefield, which will divert 95 per cent of waste away from landfill. Pictured site manager Mike Walter chats to Wakefield Council's Julia Greenwood.'11th February 2015.'Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe.
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A £750m waste plant built to process all the district’s rubbish has been hit with a four-month delay in becoming fully operational.

The hold-up at the treatment site in South Kirkby could hit the company behind the scheme with millions of pounds in extra costs.

Shanks, which runs the plant in a 25-year Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal with the council, has set aside £4.6m to cover “damages on the Wakefield contract”.

The company’s half-year financial report said the site was “largely complete and operational but will enter full service around four months late” after a contractor at the South Kirkby plant went bust.

The contractor, Imtech, was the supplier of an anaerobic digestion facility at the plant to turn waste into gas, but went into administration on August 28.

Wakefield Council said the digester was the only part of the site not yet up and running, and it would be operational next month.

The council would not face any extra costs because of the delay.

Maureen Cummings, the council’s cabinet member for environment and communities, said: “I can assure residents that the Shanks waste treatment facility is up and running and handling all the district’s rubbish.

“Once the anaerobic digestion facility is operational we will see even more of the district’s waste diverted from landfill.”

Peter Eglinton, Managing Director of Shanks Waste Management, said: “Our project and operational teams are working exceptionally hard to minimise the impact of the delay to the anaerobic digestion facility, which unfortunately is beyond our control.”

The plant will eventually divert 95 per cent of the district’s waste away from landfill, saving the council millions of pounds in landfill tax.