Advising a local authority on a £10m waste recycling facility

In 2018, our client Rhondda Cynon Taf Borough Council announced their plans to develop a multi-million-pound self-sustainable Eco Park.

The project, based on the notion of circular economy, is located on the Bryn Pica Waste Management Facility, in Aberdare. One of the main features of the Eco Park is a £10m new dry mixed waste recycling facility, for which our construction, energy, and projects team prepared all contractual documentation required.

We advised on contract structure and recommended NEC4 for the project. We drafted bespoke project-specific amendments to the NEC4 engineering and construction contracts and subcontracts, as well as the NEC4 supply and professional services contracts. These types of contracts are clear, written in simple language, and flexible – which was key in ensuring good collaboration between suppliers and contractors.

With Brexit looming, the contractor appointed by the council to do the work had some concerns that most of the equipment was being sourced from mainland Europe. These concerns were appeased after we delivered a series of NEC risk workshops with both the council and the contractor and provided a risk-analysis. The output was a supplemental agreement to the contract where both parties agreed to revise this particular risk to a 50-50 risk share basis.

This collaborative approach, our longstanding relationship with the council, and our experience of advising on such projects and the NEC4 suite of contracts, means we are able to mitigate potential delays and cost increases.

What was the outcome?

Work started on the project in September 2018 and was completed on time and budget in November 2019. The new automated plant more than doubles the capacity of the previous plant on the site, which mainly sorted the incoming municipal dry recycling waste by hand. Achieving material purity levels of 97.5%, it provides the council with improved recycling rates, improved staff working conditions, and the flexibility to meet higher quality recycling requirements.

If you’re looking for clear advice on complex construction projects, we can help. Click here to find out more. 

If you’re a Welsh public sector organisation, you can also access our services via the National Procurement Service.

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