The scheme is being delivered by arc21 – a group of eleven local councils – and will include a Energy from Waste plant to convert non-recyclable waste into heat and electricity and two Mechanical Biological Treatment plants to help sort waste more effectively.
The first MBT is due for completion in 2012 and the EfW by 2014.
The project is valued at up to £1 billion over its life-cycle, is one of the largest public procurement schemes undertaken in Northern Ireland's history.
It is expected to create up to 600 construction jobs over a three-year period.
The shortlisted bidders are Covanta Energy; Greenstar Holdings and E.On Energy; Indaver John Laing; SITA Holdings UK; The Shanks Wheelabrator Consortium; and Veolia ES Aurora.
A preferred bidder is expected to be appointed in spring 2010.