IQPC organizes annual PPP Investment Summit Kuwait Focus on mega projects

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 4: The International Quality and Productivity Center (IQPC) Monday organized the second annual PPP Investment Summit Kuwait at the Kuwait Hilton Resort. In his opening remarks Abraham Akkawi, partner, Transaction Advisory Services, Infrastructure Advisory Services, Leader MENA, Ernst & Young said “in Kuwait things have been moving really slowly and we have already waited for four years, let’s be patient, things will happen.” The two-day summit sheds light on Kuwait which is moving forward with the planning and implementation of a large number of new and exciting mega projects over the next few years. The pipeline of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) projects in Kuwait is probably the most significant in the Middle East with over billions of dollars worth projects recently announced or started. With foreign investors looking closely at the government commitment in developing Kuwait’s infrastructure, the second Annual PPP Investment Summit Kuwait gave the regional experts and the government officials an unique opportunity to discuss opportunities in Public-Private Partnerships in Kuwait.

The Investment Summit is an important platform for revealing the latest developments and the best ways of structuring the financing of these mega projects. Adel Al-Roumi, President, Partnership Technical Bureau (PTB) gave a brief overview of the 2013 and 2014 PPP projects including the recent deals, activities and the role of PPPs across sectors including transportation, water, power, utilities, education and healthcare. This was in addition to the update from PTB on the status on investment for this year and next year and penetrating Kuwait’s projects market by understanding the regulatory environment and legal framework for PPPs. Al-Roumi identified the successful strategies and models for structuring and financing projects through the PPP scheme and outlined the key financial risks associated with newly issued PPPs. The high-level summit focused on PPP investment for current mega projects — the best-practice, practical solutions how to recognize financial risks associated with these PPPs.

The summit also focused on discovering successful strategies and models for structuring and financing PPPs, enhancing current partnerships by meeting the key stakeholders, gaining insights into the requirements for foreign and local companies to win more business.
Dalal Al-Hashash, Senior Architect, PTB gave an insight into the Umm Al-Haiman waste water project, Engineer Abdullah Al-Muhanna, Senior Architect, PTB, gave an update on the Al-Khairan And Az-Zour North (IWPP) power project and Engineer Muneera Al-Bahar, Industrial & Management System Engineer PTB spoke at length on the Municipal Solid Waste Treatment Facility in Kabd.
The question-answer session highlighted important aspects and open floor discussion for the audience. Dr Ibrahim Al-Ghusain, Director of Projects at Kharafi National shed light on the infrastructure and development of projects.

Dr Rupert Booth FIET, FCMA, PMP, CEng, Associate Director, Atkins spoke about understanding challenges of developing transportation PPPs in the Gulf; Akusa Batwala, Senior Associate, ASAR — Al-Ruwayeh & Partners shed light on recent developments in the PPP legal regime; Aditya Bahadur, ADB PPP Expert, Asian Development Bank, looked into developing bid documents for PPP Projects to maximize efficiency and winning more business, while Dr Amer Al-Adhadh, Director PPP, Ministry of Business and Trade, Qatar, spoke on utilizing co-funding by sharing the risk and maximizing the benefits. The afternoon session of the summit was dedicated for two workshops to discuss the project life cycle and bankable PPP projects. The aim of the workshop was to look at important aspects of partnership projects with focus on good project preparation; to ensure that value for money is created, risk is shared and problems in the implementation are avoided.

The objectives of the workshop was to discuss and analyze the various phases of PPP project design and development, starting with project kick off and including the tender and contract negotiation stage; how to get this project bankable, the steps that the consortium need to take and the tools available to financing and developing a project. The workshop facilitator was Anthony Smith, head of the United Nations PPP, Readiness Task Force, United Kingdom. The other workshop was about managing risk effectively in PPP projects. The workshop looked in detail at the implementation of risk management processes which gave an opportunity to gain experiences from PPP in the MENA region in order to optimize future PPP projects in Kuwait.

The objectives of this workshop were to identify the types of risk that may be encountered in a public private partnership arrangement; developing a workable risk management structure; assigning risk to the party most able to deal with it; structuring contracts to streamline risk and provide a clear understanding of where certain risks lie and developing flexible arrangements to account for changing circumstances of consortium partners. The workshop facilitator was Abraham Akkawi, partner, Transaction Advisory Services, Infrastructure Advisory Services, Leader MENA, Ernst & Young. The summit is being sponsored by Burgan Bank, Ernst & Young, Kharafi National and ASAR.

By: Paul Francis X. Fernandes

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