Colombian city risks lawsuit over waste-to-energy contract

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The halted project to implement waste-to-energy technologies in the Colombian city of Bucaramanga continues to cause problems for the local administration.

The firm that was going to execute the US$250mn initiative, Vitalogic RSU, has entered a conciliation process with Bucaramanga's waste manager EMAB and has threatened to sue the city if the process fails, local daily El Tiempo reported.

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Originally, EMAB issued a tender for the implementation of new technologies to handle waste at a landfill, but the process was declared void when none of the bidders (including Vitalogic) fulfilled all the requirements.

The city government later announced that EMAB would directly hire a firm to carry out the project, arguing that the waste manager was authorized to hire a company that had fulfilled most of the tender requirements, which was the case of Vitalogic.

This plan was then halted due to the concerns of the country's attorney general regarding the initiative's environmental impact, financial model, tender process, and the application of the new technologies.

Vitalogic's legal representative, José Manuel Hormaza, told El Tiempo the firm will sue EMAB and seek a 579bn-peso (US$200mn) compensation if it does not obtain the project through the conciliation process.