Three bids for Wasteserv incinerator at Magħtab

Wasteserv receives three bids for waste-to-energy plant at Magħtab • French waste firm Paprec in partnership with Bonnici Bros. submits cheapest final offer

The excavated site at Magħtab where the incinerator will be built (Photo: Wasteserv)
The excavated site at Magħtab where the incinerator will be built (Photo: Wasteserv)

Three companies have submitted their final bids to build and operate an incinerator for 20 years at Magħtab, Wasteserv said on Monday.

Bids were received from Paprec Energies International-BBL Malta, FCC Medioambiente Internacional S.L.U, and Hitachi Zosen Inova AG – Terna S.A.

Paprec submitted the cheapest bid at €599,659,900, followed by FCC at €616 million and Hitachi at €781,512,463.

Paprec is a French waste management company that claims to be France’s third largest waste treatment company. It is partnered on this project with Maltese construction company Bonnici Bros.

FCC Medioambiente is a Spanish waste management company, while Hitachi Zosen is a Swiss company within Japan’s industrial group Hitachi that submitted a bid in partnership with Greek construction firm Terna.

Wasteserv said the evaluation process will now commence with a target to finalise the contract with the recommended bidder before the end of the year.

The site for the project has already been excavated and prepared to ensure timely project implementation after an initial setback when a previous tendering process had to be aborted.

Wasteserv said once the contract is signed, it is expected that the contractor starts with the concrete work for the waste bunker for which full development permits have already been obtained.

Eleven companies had submitted offers when Wasteserv opened its tenders in 2022. The government waste agency then whittled the list down to five and started negotiations with shortlisted bidders.

Two of the five companies - Magħtab Ġdid Enerġija Nadifa and SACRY Industrial Operacion y Mantienimento SL - did not submit final bids despite having submitted the lowest bids at the time of shortlisting.

Earlier this year, the tendering process came under scrutiny following reports that the Department of Contracts had published the value of bids submitted by the five shortlisted candidates. Subsequently, two of the bidders – Paprec and Hitachi – submitted final offers that were lower than their original offer.

Former PN MP Jason Azzopardi was among those to allege impropriety at the time, claiming the ‘mistake’ was done to favour one of the bidders.

On Monday, after the final offers were made public, Azzopardi described the tendering process as “a massive scandal”.

The incinerator will be processing 192,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste per year, which waste will be converted into green energy. This plant, together with a new Organic Processing Plant, Material Recovery Facility, Skip Management Facility, and Thermal Treatment Facility will be allowing Malta to move to a fully circular economy in the waste management field.