Colombia postpones awarding of contract for waste-to-energy project

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Friday, August 11, 2017

The Colombian city of Bucaramanga, capital of Santander department, extended the deadline for awarding the contract for a new waste management initiative that entails new waste-to-energy technology, according to a press release from the attorney general's office.

The contract, which was going to be awarded to joint venture VITALOGIC RSU, entails a US$250mn investment to implement new technologies and the installation of a new waste management plant at a landfill known as El Carrasco, which according to the city government's website has caused a 14-year long sanitary emergency.

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The office of the attorney general requested the city delay on signing the contract, citing doubts held by the national government, particularly regarding the initiative's financial model, the requirements of the tendering bases, the environmental impact, and the application of the new technologies.

Gilberto Blanco, the deputy attorney general, said that while there's a necessity to implement new technologies for managing solid waste in the city "this tendering process must be done under the highest environmental standards and regulations".

The attorney's office added that it sent a warning on August 9 over the risks of directly awarding the contract, due to the technical complexity of the process.

In response, Bucaramanga mayor Rodolfo Hernández said that the awarding of the contract would be postponed for 20 days.