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Three left in £80m remediation chase


THREE firms are in the hunt for a £80 million deal to clean up one of the most polluted sites in Europe.

The project for the East Midlands Development Agency is designed to regenerate the former Avenue Coking Works in Derbyshire and attracted the attention of most of the leading remediation firms.

The project's exact value is uncertain but estimators predict the cost could be between £40 million and £80 million, depending on the level of risk involved.

The firms on the long list for the scheme included Balfour Beatty, Costain, Morgan Est, Mowlem and Nuttall. All were bidding the job alone.

Kier had joined up with two Belgian firms, dredging outfit Jan de Nul and groundwater treatment specialist Envisan.

The other team was a consortium featuring Belgian environmental contractor DEC and Dutch firms Sita Remediation and Volker Stevin.

But the list has now been cut down to Balfour Beatty, DEC/ Sita/Volker Stevin and Kier/ Jan de Nul/Envisan.

The development agency plans to choose a preferred bidder in the next few weeks but will not announce a winner until April.

The job will take around a year to start as the contractor will need to continue design work as well as negotiate planning consent. The majority of remediation should be completed in four years.

The successful bidder will be tasked with transforming the 100 ha site south of Chesterfield into public open space and areas for housing and offices.

The land is severely contaminated after decades of mining as well as lime, iron and coke production at the complex.

It was also the site of a coal and gas plant and a massive sulphuric acid production line. Of the 1.4 million cu m of land that needs treating, some 600,000 cu m are considered 'grossly contaminated'.

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