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Balfour's £500m EfW job faces calls for shutdown

Environmental campaigners have called for construction of a troubled £500m Balfour Beatty energy-from-waste plant to be stopped immediately after details of the contract were made public.

Local group Community R4C called on Gloucestershire County Council to halt work by Balfour Beatty’s joint venture with Spanish waste giant Urbaser on the Javelin Park incinerator.

UBB – a joint venture between Balfour Beatty and Spanish-based waste management company Urbaser – signed the contract to design and build the EfW facility in February 2013.

Gloucestershire County Council was forced to make details of the UBB contract public following a decision by an information rights tribunal earlier this month.

Now Community R4C has sent a complaint to the government’s Competition and Markets Authority over the contract.

Community R4C board member Sue Oppenheimer said: “GCC should stop UBB from carrying out further work on site immediately, in order to limit liabilities.

“This contract will be a huge financial burden for years to come. The council would save millions by terminating the contract right now.”

Gloucestershire County Council deputy leader Ray Theodoulou described the complaint to the Competition and Markets Authority as a “desperate stunt by opponents of this project”.  

“There is no validity to the claims that they’re making, nor any suggestion that the Competition and Markets Authority will pay the least attention to them,” he added. 

“The Javelin Park contract was awarded, following a government-approved process, after an open and transparent competition.”

UBB has been contacted for comment.

The controversial scheme has been beset with delays with construction only starting last November, nearly four years after the contract was signed.

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