The £7.7 million north-east site that was meant to recycle bottles under the controversial deposit return scheme (DRS) is being marketed for rent.
Commercial property firm Avison Young has been tasked with finding a new tenant for the 67,376sq ft “high specification” industrial facility in Badentoy Industrial Estate, Portlethen.
Named Wallace, the gated site boasts 14,525sq ft of two-storey office accommodation, a large concrete yard and dedicated parking.
Transport connectivity highlighted
Avison Young also highlights its “immediate access to the motorway network”.
The marketing brochure adds: “In addition to excellent road links, the subjects benefit from Aberdeen being home to an international airport and harbour – providing excellent international connectivity.
“Occupiers based within Badentoy Park include Baker Hughes, KCA Deutag, Saltire Energy, Hunting Energy, Maersk and Schlumberger.”
The facility was built to support the DRS after its rollout across Scotland from August.
But the DRS has been pushed back to 2025 and Circularity Scotland, the firm due to manage it, is in administration.
What now for Biffa in Portlethen?
Up to 60 jobs were being created at the Biffa plant, from multi-skilled operatives and drivers, to administrators, supervisors and managers.
Work on the recycling centre started in February and the facility was expected to be ready in May.
A spokeswoman for waste management firm Biffa said: “We can confirm we’ve taken the decision to market the site, whilst we review our options.”
The future of Circularity Scotland was thrown into doubt when the Scottish Government announced the deposit-return scheme, which was supposed to launch in March of next year, would not be introduced until October 2025 at the earliest.
The delay came after the UK Government agreed to grant an exemption to internal market rules – but only if the scheme excluded glass to bring it into line with similar proposals for elsewhere in the UK that are also due to launch in 2025.
When it is finally introduced, the DRS will see a 20p charge placed on drink containers.
This amount will be refunded when bottles and cans are returned, boosting recycling levels.
Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater called the collapse of Circularity Scotland a “disaster” for its 60 workers.
Biffa is understood to have signed up to a long lease for the Portlethen site, a former engineering depot, in the largest letting in the Aberdeen area last year.
An Aberdeen-based commercial property expert said: “I am assuming Biffa are suing Scottish Government or being compensated.”
Here's the first counting machines being delivered to our #Aberdeen DRS centre this week from the factory in #Denmark. You can see existing machines in action in Denmark in the linked tweet. pic.twitter.com/yjAqcTx6Hu
— Biffa (@Biffa) March 17, 2023
Earlier this year it was reported the British Soft Drinks Association – whose members include Coca Cola and AG Barr, which makes Irn-Bru – was seeking compensation for the money its members had spent preparing for the Scottish DRS.
Other organisations representing retailers also said their members wanted compensation, with businesses across Scotland believed to have spent about £300 million ahead of the scheme’s planned introduction.