• Tunisian assembly passes new PPP legislation
  • New law aims to help finance new infrastructure
  • PPP is increasingly being turned to by regional governments to fund projects

Tunisia’s Assembly of People’s Representatives (ARP) has passed a new public private partnership law.

After debating the law regulating partnership relations, deputies added amendments safeguarding sovereign rights, according to local agency Tunis Afrique Presse.

Tunisia hopes the new law will help finance large infrastructure projects.

A general partnership committee will be established to tender PPP projects, using a similar model to Egypt’s PPP Central Unit.

The new framework was prepared with the support of international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank.

The General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT) was opposed to the move.

PPP projects under an earlier law include the $500m Enfidha airport near Sousse and the $260m Rades II independent power project (IPP). However, other IPPs and PPP projects faltered, such as a deepwater port at Enfidha.

Reforms in 2008 did not lead to any successful PPP projects.

“The risk allocation has changed,” a senior civil servant at the Ministry of Development and International Cooperation told MEED. “Under the 2008 law all the risk was on the private sector. Now it is fairly distributed between the state and the developer.”

Tunisia will publish a pipeline of PPP projects in January 2016, once the new five year plan has been finalised. It will focus on energy, renewable energy, water desalination and transport.

Some earlier projects have already been revived, such as a logistics area, the expansion of Rades Port, and Enfidha deepwater port.

“Companies can also propose projects, whereas they couldn’t before,” says the civil servant. “There is a tender but the proposing company gets an advantage.”