Government takes on a £75m project

A £75 MILLION project to replace the Island’s ageing sewage treatment plant has officially been taken on by the government after a private contractor went into administration.

The old recycling area at Bellozanne, where a new sewage treatment plant is being created Picture: ROB CURRIE (31917297)
The old recycling area at Bellozanne, where a new sewage treatment plant is being created Picture: ROB CURRIE (31917297)

NMCN, based in Nottinghamshire, had reportedly racked up losses of £43 million. Earlier this month, its board said that it was unable to allow the business to continue trading as a going concern.

The project, which had been scheduled to be completed next year, is now being overseen by the Infrastructure, Housing and Environment Department. The JEP has asked how much money has been paid to NMCN and whether any is recoverable.

Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis, said: ‘Excellent work has taken place with our treasury, legal and commercial advisers, and as a result the sewage treatment works project will now be contacting the supply chain to seek to re-engage them directly. Discussions, of course, are ongoing between government and the administrators for NMCN as this formal process continues in the background.

‘I am pleased that this signals the government’s intent to continue working with local and off-Island companies to complete this critical piece of infrastructure for the Island.’

The project to build the new sewage treatment works is one of the largest infrastructure projects launched by the government in recent years. Before work on installing the new equipment could begin, 150,000 tonnes of earth had to be excavated from the hillside in Bellozanne Valley.

Before NMCN’s collapse, the company sent out a letter to nearby residents that they were due to begin excavating tunnels in the area using a boring machine.

The existing sewage treatment system is over 60 years old. Engineers behind the new works say it will be capable of providing waste-water treatment for a population of around 118,000 people and its capacity could be expanded by up to 20% at a later date if necessary.

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