The nation’s first successful commercial waste-to-energy facility went on-line in 1975 and the industry has accumulated a three-decade long track record—operating safely, improving efficiencies, and meeting new, tougher environmental standards. The industry has matured and has learned from operating experience. But as the industry faces a revival, have we also learned to improve on the art of the deal? In the past, the standard lump sum RFP approach forced project sponsors and vendors into a type of Russian roulette—one-sided gamesmanship that opened one or both sides to unreasonable risk with willing partners in the construction and financial community. On today’s financial and financial risk playing field, though, Wheelabrator believes that the road to prosperity—for sponsor and vendor—is found in above-board open book negotiations. It’s a process designed to reduce economic risk and provides a more realistic picture of the actual cost of the project once it’s in the ground and operating. Mark Schwartz, Senior Manager of Business Development for Wheelabrator Technologies, and Cal Disney, Vice President of Whiting-Turner, will review the pitfalls of the past and discuss how the process can be improved when all parties participate in the design, permitting and construction oversight of a facility. They will discuss how the process can lead to contracts with fixed costs, lower capital costs, minimal risks and a public private partnership that gets the most value for taxpayer dollars.

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