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EIB to offer funding for Manchester waste mega project.

GREATER Manchester's delayed 25-year mega-contract to boost its recycling performance in waste management is likely to receive a financial safety net from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (GMWDA) is tendering a GBPounds 2.5 billion contract to outsource its services. Because of the deal's complexity, the authority recently pushed back its starting date four months to June 2007, when either SITA UK or Viridor Waste Management will head consortia tackling this mammoth task.

Although the contract is supported by GBPounds 100 million in UK government private finance initiative (PFI) credits, the contract will inevitably involve the authority borrowing money, so the EIB's plans to finance up to 50% of the project's debt will be welcome. The bank is easily the European Union's (EU's) largest financing institution, and offers its loans on low interest and lengthy repayment terms. In a memorandum, the bank welcomed the project as fitting EU environmental goals: "It aims to assist the regional waste disposal authority in gradually achieving its targets of 50% recycling/composting and 65% diversion from landfill by 2020 in accordance with new national requirements and EU waste policy." The bank continued: "The project will have environmental benefits, increasing levels of recycling and reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill. The project is in particular driven by the reduction targets for biodegradable waste going to landfills ... These targets shall be achieved by means of recycling and composting." The loan has yet to be formally approved by the EIB board, and the exact amount of financing required will depend on a final deal. Waste authority chair Councillor Neil Swannick said there had been "very good submissions ... involving a variety of technical solutions [with] lower costs than those we had feared."

The GMWDA provides waste disposal for 958,000 households in Bolton, Bury, Manchester City, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford.
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Author:Nuthall, Keith
Publication:International News Services.com
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 1, 2006
Words:313
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