Contract procurement

The procurement project began in 2005, when we asked independent financial, legal and technical specialists to advise us to ensure we achieve the best value, long-term solution for the county. We also asked residents for their views on the development of our Joint Waste Strategy. 

In 2007, Cabinet agreed to proceed with the project and we advertised for contractors to submit proposals to build and operate a thermal treatment plant.  We followed a Competitive Dialogue approach with bidders, and in January 2008, we announced the three companies chosen to go to the next stage in the process. In August 2008 we selected two of these companies to proceed to final tender stage.  In September 2009, Cabinet decided to award Covanta Preferred Bidder status for the contract. In March 2010 the Cabinet Member for Planning & Environment took the decision to withdraw this preferred bidder status and re-open the final stages of the competition following the emergence of a legal issue with Covanta’s site during Covanta’s due diligence work.

Between March and September 2010, the Council was in discussions with both Covanta Energy and FCC Environment. In September 2010 the two companies submitted their final tenders, which were evaluated by our technical, legal and financial experts and the project team against a range of pre-agreed criteria. 

In November 2010, Cabinet decided to award preferred bidder status to FCC Environment as the company to build and operate the EfW facility at their proposed site at Greatmoor, near Calvert, subject to planning consent. 

In July 2012, following a clarification and commitment phase, Cabinet decided to award the contract to FCC Environment.

On 17 April, 2013 the contract was signed with FCC Environment.  A copy of the Waste Management Project Agreement contract is available and the Final Business case are available; the documents are redacted in some areas for legal and commercial reasons.

Procurement Stages

Procurement stage


OJEU Contract Notice

1 March 2007

Deadline for reviewing completed pre-qualification questionnaires

12 (noon) 2 April 2007

Notification for shortlist

15 May 2007

Invitation to Participate in Dialogue (ITPD) and Invitation to Submit Outline Proposals (ISOP) issued

16 May 2007

Bidders conference

23 May 2007 

Deadline for receipt of Outline Proposals

12 (noon) 3 September 2007

Invitation to Submit Detailed Solutions (ISDS) issued

7 December 2007

Deadline for receipt of Detailed Solutions

2 June 2008

Invitation to Submit Final Tenders (ISFT) issued

w/c 15 December 2008

Deadline for receipt of Final Tenders

12 January 2009

Cabinet decision - award preferred bidder status to Covanta Energy 14 September 2009
Cabinet Member decision 10 March 2010
Cabinet Member decision implemented* 16 March 2010
Invitation to submit further final tenders (ISFT2) issued 20 August 2010
Deadline for receipt of Final Tenders 14 September 2010

Cabinet decision - award preferred bidder status to FCC Environment (subject to call-in period)*

29 November 2010

Overview and Scrutiny Call In Cabinet decision 11 January 2011
Cabinet make a decision based on O&S recommendation 28 February 2011
Cabinet award the contract (subject to call-in period)* 23 July 2012
Overview and Scrutiny Call In Cabinet decision 4 September 2012
Work with FCC environment to finalise contractual and financial documents Autumn 2012 - Winter 2013
Council signs the contract with FCC Environment 17 April 2013

*Subject to a call-in period, which is a County Council process involving the Overview and Scrutiny Commissioning Committee who can choose to call in the decision for review for up to 5 days after a decision has been made.

Summary of Final Tender received by FCC Environment

Parameter  FCC Environment
Treatment facility location Greatmoor,
Calvert, Buckinghamshire
Treatment facility capacity  37.5 tonnes per hour
292,500 tonnes per annum
Waste input assumptions   Contract waste: 109ktpa (y1) rising on forecast
Other waste: 183.5 ktpa
Technology and configuration  Single line moving grate EfW
Waste transfer station infrastructure
(design capacity)   
High Heavens: 150,000 tpa
Amersham 120,000 tpa
Energy output (net)  24.8 MW at full capacity
R1 – Recovery exceeding 65% per WFD*)   Yes
Contract service period  30 years
Financing method   Construction finance/Prudential borrowing

*The Waste Framework Directive (WFD) sets out that certain specified waste shall cease to be waste when it has undergone a recovery operation.  If facilities permitted after 31.12.2008 that are dedicated to the processing of municipal solid waste have an efficiency of 0.65 then this is classed as a recovery operation and therefore pushes the waste further up the waste hierarchy.

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