14/02/2006 - 21:00

GRD wait on waste

14/02/2006 - 21:00

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The bidding for a $100 million waste processing project in Perth’s northern suburbs has taken a surprise turn after local company GRD decided it would not participate in the tender.

GRD wait on waste

The bidding for a $100 million waste processing project in Perth’s northern suburbs has taken a surprise turn after local company GRD decided it would not participate in the tender.

GRD subsidiary Global Renewables is emerging as a global leader in the waste recycling sector but it believes the planned Mindarie Regional Council project is too small.

“We would have absolutely loved to have an investment in our home town but we don’t believe we can be competitive,” GRD executive director Cliff Lawrenson said.

“We will be looking for opportunities for larger facilities so that you can get the full environmental and economic benefits.”

Leighton subsidiary Thiess Services has also withdrawn from the bidding after deciding to focus on other business opportunities.

That leaves four approved bidders for the Mindarie plant, which will process about 100,000 tonnes of municipal waste per year.

The municipal waste sector is expected to attract hundreds of millions of dollars in private sector investment during the next few years, as Perth’s regional councils seek to divert waste from landfills.

The Southern Metropolitan Regional Council has invested $70 million at its Canning Vale waste recovery facility, and other regional councils, like Mindarie, are planning to follow its lead.

The four short-listed bidders for the Mindarie project comprise:

  • engineering group WorleyParsons in partnership with Macquarie Bank and Canadian company Conporec, which is an experienced supplier of composting technology;

  • renewable energy company Novera Energy in a consortium with listed Perth company ORT, which has developed its own composting technology;

  • Bedminster Australasia, which built a $35 million composting plant at Canning Vale in 2004 and operates plants at Cairns and Port Stephens; and

  • Total Energy Services Tasmania, which has teamed up with waste services company SITA Environmental Solutions.

The successful bidder will design, build and fund the facility, which will be located at the Neerabup industrial estate.

The Mindarie Regional Council, which services most of Perth’s northern suburbs, currently dumps about 350,000 tonnes of waste to the Tamala Park landfill.

It decided against establishing one large facility for processing all of its waste, so that it was not reliant on a single technology or operator.

GRD’s Mr Lawrenson said the technology used by Global Renewables worked best when the plant could process at least 175,000 tonnes of waste.

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