AUSTRALIA: The first of 60 Citadis X05 trams that Alstom is supplying to operate on the CBD & South East Light Rail line in Sydney has been rolled out, and is due to arrive in Sydney later this year.
A consortium including Alstom signed a A$2·1bn PPP contract to build, operate and maintain the light rail line in late 2014, with financial close taking place early the following year. The ALTRAC Light Rail consortium also includes Transdev Sydney, Acciona Infrastructure Australia and Capella Capital, in addition to three equity investors: John Laing, First State Super and Acciona Concesiones. The line is due to open in 2019.
New Zealand has picked Australia’s Cimic Group as preferred choice to deliver four new schools in a public-private partnership (PPP) scheme.
Cimic Group’s role in the project spans design, construction and financing through two of its companies, Pacific Partnerships and CPB Contractors.
The contract is anticipated by the New Zealand Ministry of Education to be worth more than $140m (NZ$200m), Cimic said in a statement.
More than once, the coalition government has ruled out using public private partnerships (PPPs) to fund the country’s infrastructure needs in health and education – apparently private profiteering in those areas is recognised as being undesirable. Not the same story though with transport, and the reasons for that differential treatment are mystifying. Earlier today, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced that one of two new roads that the government would be co-financing would be a PPP – namely, the Penlink project that will link the northern motorway to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.
The government are pushing for public private partnerships to fund big transport infrastructure projects, like the light rail network for Auckland, basically because they’re really really expensive. They’re a way for governments to get private sector cash and expertise for public assets. Generally under this model, the services are managed by the government, but the infrastructure is funded and managed by the private sector on long term contracts.
The Victorian government will deliver a healthy $1.4 billion budget surplus on Tuesday with big pre-election spending planned on infrastructure, skills, health and education.
Public-private partnerships are a common way of getting major infrastructure projects across the line, but some failed deals have left governments and investors with burnt fingers.
They are contenders for the public-private partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects-gone-bad award – Metronet Rail’s part in the failed London Underground upgrade from 2003-08, and the Cross City Tunnel financial collapse in Sydney in 2006 and again in 2013. Such projects have left governments and investors with red faces and strengthen the argument that the PPP (aka three-P) model is inherently flawed.