Australia’s Plenary Group is making its first foray into Asia by taking part in PPP tenders in Hong Kong and Singapore, with an eye on Vietnam and Thailand for its next moves, according to Head of Origination Paul Crowe.
“We’re seeing a lot of interest in different forms of procurement [in Asia] and the market is opening a little bit to those concepts,” including PPPs, he said in a recent interview.
“[We’re] looking at Hong Kong and Singapore around [build, own, operate, transfer]-type structures that they employ there and then countries in the Asian Peninsula – the two countries that are more progressed are Vietnam and Thailand.”
Bids being led by Plenary’s Singapore office include an expression of interest for the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority’s (WKCDA) Art, Commerce and Exhibitions project (ACE) in Hong Kong
The WKCDA called for EOIs from private investors in June with a deadline of 26 August. The project will involve building an exhibition centre, hotel and offices space as well as retail, dining and entertainment facilities. A winning bidder is expected to be named by the third quarter of this year.
Melbourne-based Crowe said Plenary had submitted an EOI for an unnamed project in Singapore and they are in “active discussions with potential partners in Thailand in relation to projects there”.
Crowe said Plenary has been watching developments in Asia from its Singapore base in the region, but the PPP model is still relatively new there.
And the financial crisis has damped enthusiasm in some places.