The High Court has ruled in favour of Covanta Energy and granted an injunction preventing Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) from entering into a contract with SITA UK.
A trial will now take place in April and May 2014 to decide on Covanta’s claim that the procurement process was legally flawed.
It Covanta were to be successful, this would mean the award would need to be reconsidered.
Mr Justice Coulson said that MWDA had properly accepted for the purposes of the injunction application that Covanta’s claim raised serious issues to be tried.
The judge noted that the procurement had already taken six or seven years during which time the target date for entering into the contract had slipped considerably and that any impact on the environment of a short delay in achieving further diversion from landfill was modest in the context of this procurement.
In April this year, consortium SITA Sembcorp UK was announced as preferred bidder for the £1.1 billion 25-year contract ahead of Covanta.
SITA planned to transport the residual waste from the contract by rail to its energy from waste facility in Teesside, while Covanta intended to build its own energy from waste plant at Ince Park in Cheshire.