The Alberta government has released the new Public-Private Partnership Framework and Guidelines (P3 framework) and Unsolicited Proposal Framework and Guideline (USP framework) to help spur private investment for public infrastructure.
The new frameworks are expected to help the provincial government find alternative ways to build infrastructure, create jobs and stimulate the economy.
“As part of Alberta’s economic recovery, it’s more important than ever our infrastructure investments are thoughtful and strategic,” said Prasad Panda, Alberta’s Minister of Infrastructure. “The P3 and USP frameworks provide government greater flexibility to deliver infrastructure and encourage the private sector to come forward with creative ways and financing solutions to help provide the facilities and other infrastructure Albertans need.”
With these changes, the government will have increased options as to what P3 model can be considered for capital project delivery, including variants such as design-build-finance and revenue-based P3s like build-operate-transfer.
Additionally, the new USP framework enables Alberta’s government to consider unsolicited infrastructure investment opportunities.
Prior to this framework, such opportunities may have been missed or rejected because there wasn’t a mechanism in place to process them. The private sector is encouraged to submit proposals via email as identified within the USP framework.
A number of P3 models are addressed in the updated P3 framework. These include:
- Design-build-finance-maintain (DBFM) – a contractor is hired to design, build, finance and maintain a major capital investment such as a school or a road.
- Design-build-finance-maintain-operate (DBFO) – a contractor is hired to design, build, finance and operate a major capital investment such as a water/wastewater treatment plant.
- Using the DBFM or DBFO models, Alberta has successfully delivered 40 schools, ring roads in Calgary and Edmonton, and a water/wastewater treatment plant in Kananaskis Country. The total savings for Alberta taxpayers on these P3 projects is about $3.3 billion.
- Currently, the government is in the procurement stage to secure a contractor to deliver a bundle of five high schools using a DBFM P3.
- Design-build-finance (DBF) – a contractor is hired to design, build and finance a major capital investment.
- Build-operate-transfer (BOT) – a contractor is hired to design, build, finance and operate the infrastructure for a period of time with the goal of the private sector (contractor) recouping its investment directly from the users of the infrastructure. Once investment is recouped, operation of the infrastructure is transferred to the government.
- An unsolicited proposal (USP) is a proposal for an infrastructure project initiated by the private or non-government sector pertaining to a project not previously identified in the Capital Plan.
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Featured image: Progress is being made on the new state-of-the-art Calgary Cancer Centre, a P3 project, which is on time and on budget so far.