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New Technologies Demonstrator Programme

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the New Technologies Demonstrator Programme in diverting biodegradeable municipal waste from landfill; (249176)

(2) how many waste projects contract payments were (a) reduced and (b) delayed under the New Technologies Demonstrator Programme;

(3) how many waste projects under the New Technologies Demonstrator Programme had (a) cost overruns and (b) start-up dates later than those originally proposed;

(4) how many waste projects under the New Technologies Demonstrator Programme were completed in accordance with their original contract;

(5) how much his Department paid out under the New Technologies Demonstrator Programme (Waste Implementation Programme) in each year of the programme.

The objective of the New Technologies Demonstrator programme (NTDP) is to provide impartial information and impart industry experience to waste stakeholders on new innovative technologies not yet established in England. The intention is to overcome the real and perceived risks and barriers of introducing such technologies in England. This is being achieved through the provision of impartial technical, environmental and economic information and performance data for the project facilities. This includes real experiences of planning and permitting, reaching financial closure and on wider issues such as informing policy development, for example the renewables obligation.

An assessment of the effectiveness of the programme can only truly be made once all the technical and commercial information has been derived from the facilities and through the successful deployment of similar technologies in England over the coming years. This will also be ultimately achieved through assessing the total volume of wastes diverted from landfill.

The programme runs until 31 March 2009 and following this date impartial technical papers will be produced on the performance of the facilities, which are being written under the guidance of the Technologies Advisory Committee.

DEFRA has a commercial contract with each project, and payments are made against the achievement of milestones related to agreed deliverables, not to specific dates.

Most of the facilities had start-up dates later than originally proposed, due to a variety of technical and commercial reasons.

DEFRA is only providing a contribution to the final costs of each project. We therefore do not hold information on the project's own cost overruns.

Of the total nine projects, two have withdrawn and one has completed in accordance with their contract with DEFRA. We do not envisage that all of the remaining six projects will complete their full contractual requirements by 31 March 2009 and as such there will be reduced payments made where this is the case.

Amount paid out by DEFRA (£)

2006-07

4,145,797

2007-08

9,728,367

2008-09 to date

5,781,592

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had regarding the participation of Scarborough Power Ltd. in the New Technologies Demonstrator Programme. (249568)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment (Hilary Benn) has held no such discussions on this topic.