KPMG exits $90m Abu Dhabi car parks project

12 April 2011

KPMG has been leading an advisory group since 2009

Netherlands-headquartered KPMG is no longer advising the Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport (DoT) on its procurement of several multi-storey car parks under a public-private partnership (PPP) structure.

The decision is by mutual agreement. The projects has faced some issues in how to structure the projects to appeal to the private sector.

Department of transport’s projects
Multi-storey car parks$90mTenderna
Mafraq-Ghweifat highway$2.7bnAward pendingna
Abu Dhabi metro$7bnStudy2015
Abu Dhabi tramway$800mStudy2014
na=Not available. Source: MEED; MEED Projects

The team of advisers working with the DoT had been due to extend their contract in late March, but declined to do so. The issues relates to the allocation of demand risk on the projects, with the DoT wanting developers to take on all the risk of whether the car parks receive any traffic. Developers say this has put many potential bidders off the project.

The DoT is now understood to be continuing with the projects without an external adviser. It has received three bids for the development of a conventional car park, and is still negotiating with a preferred bidder, Kuwait’s Arabian Capital, on an automated car park.

KPMG and Trowers & Hamlins as legal adviser, and the UK’s Atkins as technical adviser, have been working for the DoT since 2009. A source at KPMG confirmed that the company was no longer advising the DoT on the projects. The source added that KPMG’s mandate was “to allow the DoT to select bidders for both the conventional and robotic car park packages. That mandate is now concluded.”

“It has been a tough project because of the risk allocation, getting the private sector to take this kind of demand risk will be a difficult challenge,” says a source close to the scheme.

The DoT is planning to develop two automated multi-storey car parks as PPP projects. The two car parks will be developed in different locations and will cost around $90m to develop. Five companies had been prequalified, including the local Midein Holding, Kuwait’s Arabian Capital Investment and Capital Company, Kharafi National, Implenia of Switzerland, and Aktor Concessions of Greece.

A further six multi-storey car parks are also planned for Abu Dhabi by the DoT.

The DoT did not respond to requests to comment on departure of its team of advisers on the car parks project.

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