Thursday, 18 April 2013

Questions (174, 175)

Seán Fleming

Question:

174. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he has responsibility in line with guidelines for the provision of infrastructure and capital investments through public private partnerships as published by the National Development Finance Agency in 2005, for all PPP waste projects within the State; if he has such responsibility, his views that the Poolbeg incinerator project, Dublin, continues to represent value for money for the Exchequer; if so, in what way he has satisfied himself that this project passes the necessary NDFA value for money and public sector benchmark tests; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18023/13]

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Seán Fleming

Question:

175. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he has any concerns about the viability of the Poolbeg incinerator, the risk of financial penalties which taxpayers may be exposed to arising out of the failure of Dublin City Council to meet its contractual obligations with the project's developer and the fact that the National Development Finance Agency has informed Dublin City Council that its value for money options issued in June 2007 is no longer valid; in the event that he has such concerns if he will outline the actions he intends to take to ensure that the Exchequer and taxpayers' interests are protected; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18024/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 174 and 175 together.

All Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects are subject to guidelines for the Provision of Infrastructure and Capital Investments through Public Private Partnerships. In accordance with the Guidelines, the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) carries out a value for money assessment of the proposed Public Private Partnership agreement. It compares the PPP approach to a Public Sector Benchmark, which is presented as a single monetary value that represents the full estimated cost, taking income and risks into account, of delivering the project using “traditional” public sector procurement.

In the case of the Dublin Waste to Energy project, in 2005, the NDFA advised that it was of the opinion that the preferred bidders’ financial model provided value for money. Following corporate restructuring in 2007, the NDFA advised that the updated financial model provided value for money relative to public sector benchmark and there was no material change in the financial gain to the State from the position as registered in its previous assessment.

The Waste to Energy facility proposed for Poolbeg is being developed by Dublin City Council on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities as part of the implementation of the region’s waste management plan, which is a statutory responsibility of local authorities under section 22 of the Waste Management Act 1996. Therefore, the progression of the project is a matter for parties to the contract, Dublin City Council and its private partner and discussions have been ongoing between the parties. Upon conclusion of discussions between the parties, any revisions to the PPP agreement will be submitted to the NDFA for assessment and this will inform any further action which may be required.