According to Moody's latest annual study, "Default and Recovery Rates for Project Finance Bank Loans, 1983-2013 Addendum", infrastructure projects with availability-based payment presents lowest default risk.
The availability payment mechanism, among others, transfers the risks of designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining a project to a private partner, and preserves string incentives for concessionaires to provide efficiency gains in the construction, operations and maintenance of a project.
Under the availability payment mechanism payments are made by a public project sponsor based on particular project milestones or facility performance standards. Project milestones can refer to the completion of the facility itself by a certain deadline, while performance standards can be measured operationally, measuring such metric as lane closures for maintenance purposes, incident management, or snow removal. Level-of-service performance could also be used as the primary payment metric for availability payment concessions involving the implementation of managed lanes.
Andrew Davison, a Moody's Senior Vice President and author of the report stated:
"The 10-year cumulative default rate for availability-based infrastructure projects worldwide is 1.3%, which is somewhat lower than the comparable 10-year cumulative defamult rate of 3.0% for corporate issuers rated single-A by Moody's. Marginal default rates, the likelihood that a performing obligor at the start of a year will default in that year, tend to decline over time from financial close which is a distinguishing characteristic compared to corporate issuers."
According to the report: