The government has struck a deal for lower charges with the consortium comprising Helector and Cybarco, which constructed and operates the Koshi waste-management plant, Agriculture Minister Nikos Kouyialis said on Thursday.
The minister said that the government succeeded in striking a deal with the consortium to process greater quantities for around €36 per tonne, instead of the €39.90 agreed earlier in the year by former interior minister Socratis Hasikos.
Speaking to Alpha TV, Kouyialis said that the two sides agreed that for rubbish from the Nicosia district Koshi will charge €35.90 per tonne for the first 80,000 tonnes, €20per tonne for the next 20,000 tonnes and €10 per tonne for the next €20,000.
“In total, 120,000 tonnes,” Kouyialis said.
The agreement will be in force until March 2020 when the existing contract expires.
“From then on, we will announce a tender competition,” Kouyialis said.
He said that a delegation of the agriculture ministry had a meeting with the consortium to also discuss the amount the more than €17m the government owes for operation fees since January 2015.
“We will honour that obligation, it is part of our agreement,” Kouyialis said.
The deal is aimed at gradually closing down the Kotsiatis landfill, in the Nicosia district, for which Cyprus faces being fined by the EU over its delayed closure.
The landfill, which was supposed to originally shut down in 2009, is to close within a year, Kouyialis said.
“Quantities of rubbish from Nicosia will gradually be taken to Koshi, until eventually all rubbish is taken to Koshi,” Kouyialis said.
The EU initiated an infringement process in May this year for the delays over Kotsiatis with Cyprus looking at fines of around €30,000 for each day of delay.
Following the visit in October by European Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella, the EU gave the government more time.
After the idea of building a separate waste-management pant in Nicosia was scrapped, it was decided to transfer rubbish from Kotsiatis to the Koshi plant. Procedures however were then delayed following the bribery scandals and ensuing trials concerning the Koshi and Paphos sanitary landfills.
Helector is facing trial over allegations that it overcharged municipalities as operator of the Paphos and Koshi plants.