South Australia’s schools PPP project has garnered a high level of interest amid a lull in public private partnership tenders.
Several bidder sources have identified around five and six groups that lodged expressions of interest (EOI) for the South Australian Schools PPP Project by the 12 October deadline.
These are understood to include Macquarie Capital; CIMIC Group’s Pacific Partnerships, CPB Contractors and Ventia; Plenary, Tetris Capital and HRL Morrison.
The field is seen as surprisingly large for the size of the project, which involves the construction of two large schools in Adelaide’s northern and southern suburbs with an estimated total value of around AUD 150m (USD 106.4m). One major PPP specialist, Capella Capital, has chosen not to bid on this deal.
Although there are prospects for several PPPs, particularly in Victoria, next year in Australia, it looks like just one – Waikeria Prison in New Zealand – will reach financial close this year.
The PPP involves the design, construction, commissioning, financing and maintenance of two birth to year-12 schools over the next 30 years at Munno Para in Adelaide’s northern suburbs and another at Sellicks/Aldinga in the south of the city.
It also calls for potential “commercial opportunities” to be identified that may provide benefit to the local community or the state.
Each school will need to have space for 1,500 students, 100 “special school” students and a 75-place pre-school and long day care centre.
The state expects to finalise assessments of EOIs by late November and notify those shortlisted by 21 December. An RFP is due to be issued by March 2019 and financial close is scheduled for October 2019. Both schools are expected to be built by the end of 2021.
A spokesperson for the SA Department of Education did not respond to request for a comment.