Egypt’s government body in charge of public-private partnership projects is planning to delay the bidding schedule for up to five projects as a result of the political turmoil in the country.
The director of the PPP Central Unit, Rania Zayed, said that she was requesting that the Supreme Committee for PPPs meet later in March to confirm the changes to the bidding process for five projects and also decide the future strategy for 38 PPP projects planned in the country.
The projects affected include the Rod el-Farag highway project, bids for which are due to be submitted in May and could be delayed until after presidential elections are held in September. Bids for two hospital projects in Alexandria are also due to be received in March, which are also likely to be extended until after the Egyptian elections.
The other projects affected are the Abu Rawash and the 6 October wastewater schemes and the Dariut power project.
When the Supreme Committee for PPPs meets it will also decide whether to develop the Dariut project under the PPP Central Unit, or not. If the decision is made to develop it under the PPP Central Unit it will mean that all funding raised for the project will have to be denominated in Egyptian pounds.
Zayed, who is also a senior adviser to the Ministry of Finance, said on the sidelines of the MEED Project Finance Conference 2011 in Dubai that Egypt had been planning to raise $5bn from international investors for a fund that will take equity stakes in Egyptian PPP this year. However, the uprising in Egypt has delayed those plans. Instead she expects to try and start approaching investors in 2012.
The fund will be split along sector lines, including transport, utilities and social infrastructure, so investors can choose to contribute to the fund, but stipulate that their money will be used for specific sectors. The fund will have a life of seven to eight years and Zayed says it will ultimately issue bonds to refinance itself. The fund is called the Long Term Financing Facility and is expected to issue bonds along sector lines.
In total, Egypt has around $15bn of PPP schemes planned, covering sectors including education, healthcare, roads, utilities, prisons and metro projects.