Jersey’s Government has confirmed it will be taking control of the island’s major sewage treatment works upgrade after the specialist UK firm previously in charge collapsed.
NMCN fell into administration on 4 October after struggling financially for more than a year, and all activity on the Bellozanne project – which was already several months behind schedule - immediately ceased.
Determined to avoid any further delays on the “vital” project, the Government stated its intention to step in where NMCN had left off the following week.
This morning, Infrastructure Minister Deputy Kevin Lewis confirmed that the Infrastructure, Housing and Environment (IHE) Department has now officially the principal contractor.
“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,” Deputy Lewis said.
“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,” he added.
While NMCN paid local contractors up to September, payments beyond then – totalling around £250,000 – remain outstanding, IHE Director General Andy Scate told Express last week.
He said IHE was working to ensure that Jersey businesses do not lose their money.
“Discussions of course are ongoing between Government and the administrators for NMCN as this formal process continues in the background,” Deputy Lewis said today.
The project to upgrade the island’s 62-year-old waste water processing facility began in November 2018, with an original end date of 2022. When it emerged over summer that the project had fallen behind to October 2023, the Government gave the project a £1.5m boost to prevent further slippage.
However, the Environment Minister said earlier this month that the end date was now in 2024.
The initial budget allocated for the project was £75m, but Deputy Lewis confirmed last week that there was a “shortfall” in funding, and that the total funding required for the sewage treatment works project was actually £81.4m.
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