This article is part of a daily series of MegaProjects articles. If you want to know more about PPP projects with a considerable size visit our MegaProjects section. You can receive them by email on a daily basis.
In January 2017, the National Agency for Public Education (ANEP - Administración Nacional de Educación Pública) and the Uruguayan Institute for Children and Adolescents (INAU - Instituo del Niño y Adolescente del Uruguay) launched a radical infrastructure development programme, encompassing 211 projects in the education sector, located throughout the country, with a total estimated investment of more than US$400 million.
The projects were to be tendered as public-private partnerships, forming part of the country’s strategy to increase infrastructure quality standards and promote synergies within the construction industry.
The authorities have now announced the third tender within the programme. Private parties are invited to bid to design, finance, construct and operate 27 children and family centres (CAIF - Centros de Atención a la Infancia y la Familia) which will be overseen by INAU, and 15 schools, which will be managed by ANEP. 7 of the schools are to have six classrooms, and the remaining 8 are to have nine classrooms.
The majority of these projects are located in the departments of Canelones and Montevideo, which are the second-largest and largest in terms of population respectively. The department of Montevideo includes the capital city. The package also includes locations in ten other departments, meaning the concessionaire will be working across the country.
Successful bidders will sign 22-year contracts and be remunerated through availability payments that will be based on the quality of the infrastructure. The estimated total value of the package is US$40 million.
Interested parties will be able to submit bids until 30 May 2018. The centres must be put into operation no later than 36 months (exactly three years) after the PPP contract is signed. For more information, see the Business Opportunity.
This installment follows similarly ambitious tenders launched in January and April last year. As with the projects being tendered now, the authorities offered 22-year concession contracts.
The first concerned the design, financing, construction and maintenance of 44 kindergartens/nurseries and 15 CAIF centres. As reported on this platform in June, bids were submitted by three consortia.
The second tender offered a total of 42 new projects to prospective private partners - 23 nursery and primary/elementary schools, ten sports centres and nine technical education centres. This group of projects was valued at US$78 million.
This programme reflects the government's considerable investment in education in recent years and a clear commitment of national authorities to improve resourcing in education. In real terms, public spending on education grew at an average annual rate of 10% between 2004 and 2013. However, it remains considerably below the OECD average and below the equivalent expenditure in other Latin American countries.
Thus this programme represents an innovative solution to maintaining the government's investment and commitment to education as it outgrows public funds.