PFI specialist looks to move into new sector with 25-year Manchester deal.

John Laing and Viridor have formed a joint venture to bid for a £300m waste contract in Manchester. The PFI contract – the largest of its type currently in procurment – is for the disposal and management of waste for 25-30 years.

Viridor, which was short-listed for the contract in July this year, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Pennon Group plc, and currently operates 22 regional landfill disposal sites and more than 150 waste-processing sites in the UK. It will now bid with Laing on a 50:50 basis for the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority contract.

Andy Friend, chief executive of Laing, said: “The waste sector presents Laing with the opportunity to utilise its skills and success in other areas of privately financed infrastructure. To date, there has been insufficient investment in the sector to ensure that waste disposal authorities meet their EU landfill targets in 2010 and beyond. This is now set to change and we are very pleased to have teamed up with such an excellent partner for this very significant opportunity.'