DEESIDE will be confirmed as the chosen site for a controversial incinerator, the Leader can reveal.
Bosses behind the North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project (NWRWTP) are expected to announce the plans within weeks.
The Leader understands that plans will be unveiled to build the burner on Deeside Industrial Park, which will deal with residual waste from Flintshire, Denbighshire, Anglesey, Gwynedd and Conwy.
Speculation has been mounting for more than a year that Deeside would be the chosen location for an incinerator, prompting thousands of people to sign a petition opposing plans for incineration anywhere in Flintshire.
An outline business case presented by the project board lists Deeside as the only possible location and last year another site put forward on Anglesey was ruled out.
Leader of Flintshire Council, Cllr Aaron Shotton, said if it is announced that Deeside will be the location for an incinerator there is “no turning back”.
He said: “As a new council leadership we have publicly made known our concerns over the possible risks and impacts of a residual waste treatment plant in North Wales.
“Flintshire, along with the other four partner councils, has no option under government policy, but to work as part of a consortium of waste authorities to procure a regional facility to treat household residual waste.
“The procurement of such a facility from 2017 was at a stage of no turning back when we came into power.
“Recently the Joint Committee of the five authorities met to select which two bidders will go forward to the final stage to win a contract for building and operating the facility.
“More details on the bidders and their bids will be made public over the coming weeks.
“Should Deeside be the favoured location for the facility our commitments to protect the public remain unchanged.
“I remain unconvinced over the possibility of incineration and potential health impacts via emissions.
“We will need full assurances over the technology, its track record, and how emissions into the air will be contained.
“We will require higher than industry standards on emission control with absolute assurances over any impacts on local air quality.
“We will expect as much waste as possible to be transported off-road and by rail, campaign for a significant ‘community benefit’ or pay-back and ask for the options for local use of the energy generated by the facility.
“We will scrutinise all plans – in the public domain – for the public to be assured over the plans which emerge and Flintshire’s role within them.”
Sita UK and Wheelabrator have been confirmed as the two preferred bidders. Both specialise in energy from waste technology via incineration.
A statement from the North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project Joint Committee has not ruled out incineration on Deeside. It said: “The procurement process is entirely technology neutral. This means all bidders were free to put forward any solution and identify any technology that would be able to treat waste that is not recycled.
“The Partnership announced that a site at Deeside Industrial Estate (Flintshire) could potentially be used to locate a residual waste treatment facility.
“Details of the proposals of the two bidders will be published in September with their agreement. A number of public briefing sessions will then be held across the region.”