Saturday, June 24, 2017

Public-private partnerships projects on the table at P3 Summit

By on April 20, 2017

Hundreds of local and international investors registered for the P3 Summit. (Juan José Rodríguez / CB)

Hundreds of local and international investors registered for the P3 Summit. (Juan José Rodríguez / CB)

SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rico government was putting on the table some 20 projects for which it seeks to establish public-private partnerships (P3s), during its P3 Summit at the Conventions Center in Miramar. Of these, 12 are critical projects, while 13 are strategic.

Similarly, nearly 80 additional initiatives were recently presented by the various government agencies, and this list is also open for discussion during the event, which ends Friday, and includes the participation of more than 600 investors and developers.

“These are opportunities that we believe may represent a viable option for the private sector,” the director of the P3 Authority, Omar Marrero, told CB en Español. He emphasized that the projects will be presented and not officially launched.

Organizers commented that about 900 investors and participants registered for the event, exceeding expectations, and had to add chairs for the forums occurred.

“Puerto Rico is open for business,” Marrero said during the P3Summit’s welcome message. He added that the government is focused on P3s “not because they are sexy, but because we need them.”

The executive director of the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (FAFAA), Gerardo Portela, stressed that the P3s will spearhead the Rosselló administration’s economic development efforts.

During the summit, three panels will address the certified fiscal plan, the new regulatory framework for P3s–which allows the private sector to submit unsolicited proposals–and financing options. Officials, government advisers and representatives of infrastructure investors will participate in these panels.

The Gov. Ricardo Rosselló will be a guest speaker, as will former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Friday’s agenda features the Financial Oversight & Management Board in a panel that will address the process for critical projects as established in Promesa’s Title V. In addition, the board’s executive director, Natalie Jaresko, will present the “Critical Projects Program under Promesa’s Title V” at 9:30 a.m.

Several individual sessions will take place both days in which panelists will discuss projects involving energy, sewers and aqueducts, transportation, solid-waste management, social infrastructure, technology, and telecommunications. On Friday the government will hold roundtables to receive input on identified projects, and they will have “that exchange, which is important when one wants to restore credibility and investment in this market,” Marrero said.

“We will present 16 to 20 projects, some of which are already contemplated in the fiscal plan; others weren’t contemplated because they don’t necessarily meet priority requirements, but they are projects we have identified,” the P3 official said.

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