In the last decade, PPP (Public-Private Partnership) projects have again been on the rise. What opportunities do they offer, and what are the risks, and pitfalls?
Ayman: “Large infrastructure works – such as constructing metro lines, bridges, motorways, hospitals, prisons, airports, etc. – in collaboration with the public sector require very specific knowledge and know-how. These projects are so specific that you do not necessarily have to develop them in every country. It’s more important that the available knowledge be accessible to all our offices.”
Erik: “As private partner, you are often also responsible for the project’s long-term management and maintenance. That’s a risk as well as an opportunity. This is where a ‘centre of excellence’ can bring solace – a kind of platform where experts from different countries cross-pollinate and share their knowledge with those offices that see an opportunity but lack sufficient expertise themselves. Without such a knowledge pool, they would probably miss out on the opportunity – and, of course, we want to avoid that. Remember that sufficient financial resources – think investment funds – are available in Belgium for large infrastructure works – but sufficient projects are currently lacking.”
Ayman: “Do not forget the growing infrastructure works in renewable energy: such as solar parks, biomass plants, off- and onshore wind turbines, even waste water management and water treatment plants. We advise customers all over the world about investments in renewable energy, but we do not extrapolate this knowledge enough towards the REC domain.”