FOI request – Calderdale MBC £9.2m investment in Private Finance Initiative Bradford Waste Incinerator

I’ve just sent a Freedom of Information request to Calderdale Council, asking how they’ve worked out that a Calderdale Council investment of £9.2m in the Private Finance Initiative Waste Incinerator and Combined Heat and Power generator in Bradford will save it £200K/year over the life of the PFI contract.

I’ve also asked whether Calderdale Cabinet accepted the Council Officer’s recommendation that the Council should invest this £9.2m. Despite the extremely bad record of PFI schemes.
Update: The ConDem government has withdrawn the offer of Private Finance Initiative funding for this incinerator and the one in Allerton Park North Yorkshire, since the EU target for reducing waste to landfill has been met. This means that it’s very unlikely that either incinerator will now be built.
Here is the FOI request. I’ll post the reply when it arrives. It could take 20 working days.

From the Report to Cabinet that recommends the investment, I understand that Calderdale Council Officers have calculated that Calderdale MBC’s repayment costs on a Public Works Loans Board (PWLB) loan of £9.2m would be around £564k/year, while repayment costs that Pennine Resource Recovery (PRR) Ltd would have to pay on a commercial loan of £9.2m would be around £766k per annum.

I also understand that Pennine Resource Recovery Ltd have agreed to a reduction in the Unitary Charge for each tonne of waste Calderdale MBC delivered to the new facility, that would generate a net saving to Calderdale MBC of £200K/year, if Calderdale MBC invests £9.2m in the new facility.

Please will you send me the following information?

1) Is it correct that Pennine Resource Recovery Ltd will reduce the waste charges Calderdale Council pays PRR Ltd by around £764K/year, compared to the amount the Council would pay if it did not invest the £9.2m?

2) If this is not correct, what annual reduction in Calderdale Council’s waste charges will PRR Ltd make, in return for Calderdale MBC’s £9.2m investment?

3) Will this annual reduction occur for the whole 25 year life of the PFI contract?

4) Please send me a copy of all PRR Ltd and Calderdale MBC documents relating to the agreement to reduce PRR Ltd charges for Calderdale Council’s waste in return for Calderdale MBC investment. If necessary, commercially sensitive information can be redacted.

5) What is the PRR Ltd Unitary charge for a tonne of waste delivered to the new facility, if Calderdale Council does not invest £9.2m?

6) And with the £9.2m investment?

7) Presumably, with better waste management, Calderdale MBC will be sending less waste each year to the PRR Ltd Bradford incinerator. What effect will this reduction in waste delivered to the incinerator have on Calderdale MBC’s annual savings as a result of the £9.2m investment?

8) How many tonnes of waste each year over the 25 year life of the PFI contract will Calderdale MBC deliver to the Bradford incinerator?

9) Given that the Report refers to “the reduction in the Unitary Charge for each tonne of waste delivered to the new facility” as “providing an additional saving on the Council’s future costs”, please explain what other saving the Council is making, that this is additional to. How much is the saving? And where is it coming from? 

10) What rates of interest has Calderdale MBC assumed will prevail each year over the next 25 years, for both PWLB loan and commercial rates of interest?

11) What degree of certainty are you working with, that the respective rates assumed in 10) above will actually occur?

12) Have Calderdale Councillors – and particularly the Cabinet members – had access to all the above information? If so, please may I have a copy of it? 

13) If Calderdale Councillors – and particularly the Cabinet members – have not had access to all the above information, on what basis did they make their decision about the Officers’ recommendation to invest £9.2m in the Private Finance Initiative PPR Bradford waste incinerator?

Posted from London, England, United Kingdom.