Doosan Babcock to complete Glasgow waste plant for Viridor

The Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre at Polmadie
The Glasgow Recycling and Renewable Energy Centre at Polmadie

Doosan Babcock has been contracted to replace Interserve as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor at the Glasgow Recycling & Renewable Energy Centre (GRREC).

Interserve was issued with notice of termination on the project by client Viridor in November 2016, having failed to complete on time or in budget.

Doosan Babcock is now finalising an assessment and project plan at the site in Polmadie.

Viridor parent company, Pennon, said in a statement: “They have been chosen for their experience in delivering large capital projects in the energy and power space.

“This follows the decision to terminate the EPC contract with Interserve due to repeated delays in the completion of GRREC, for which Viridor has contractual remedies. The client, Glasgow City Council, has been consulted throughout this period of change, and is supportive of Viridor’s actions and the revised plan for completion.”

Interserve was supposed to complete its £146m contract for Viridor in March 2016, after a three-year programme, but subsequently acknowledged it would not be able to meet a revised completion date of March 2017.

In May 2016 Interserve issued a statement conceding £70 million of cost overruns and delays on the project.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government has been urged to find answers over Doosan Babcock’s decision to cut 270 jobs in Renfrewshire.

The engineering group announced it was axing the roles at its Renfew offices and manufacturing facility in November.

A consultation organised by union Unite between the company and the Scottish Government in December was able to secure an extension of the consultation on the plans until the end of January.

In addition, the company gave a commitment to explore opportunities to protect jobs, including upskilling and retraining of workers with additional support from the Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE).

However, Unite regional officer Alison MacLean said the Doosan Babcock “has a full order book up until the end of March”, and there is “clear evidence” of client demand for work produced by the union’s members at Renfew.

Unite has now written to cabinet secretary for economy, jobs and fair work, Keith Brown, asking him to get involved again.

“There is so much work, that the company has had to introduce a completion bonus for machine shop members in an attempt to get orders fulfilled. Some of our members have been told that they could now be kept on until the end of March or end of April,” Ms MacLean said.

“More and more, we believe the company has made a mistake in pushing ahead with these closure plans. Instead of a snap reaction to short-term market conditions, they should be thinking ahead and planning for the future.”

Ms MacLean added: “We welcomed the company’s previous commitment to extending the consultation on their plans and to working with PACE. But since then, we’ve become concerned that they are not taking seriously our proposals to save jobs.

“The consultation needs to be more than a tick box exercise, and all proposals to save jobs should be taken extremely seriously.”

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