P3 Authority fields $2B in proposals from towns, agencies
The Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnership Authority is currently reviewing 11 applications submitted by as many central government agencies and municipalities seeking to develop a variety of projects ranging from a women’s correctional facility to road extensions, requiring more than $2 billion in estimated investments.
Earlier this year, the P3 Authority initiated a request for proposal process to get a feel for what agencies and towns needed that would require private investments, as Grace Santana, head of the agency, said during the first week of May.
The to-do list includes several projects that have already been announced, such as the commuter train between Caguas and San Juan, which would require a $400 million investment to be split between the municipality, the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP, as it is known by its initials in Spanish) and the Highway Administration, or ACT.
Another project that has also been mentioned is a new women’s correctional facility to replace the current one in use in Vega Alta. An alliance would be needed to design, build, finance and operate a new facility with a capacity for 750 inmates. The project proposed by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is estimated to cost about $100 million.
Corrections also submitted a proposal for the construction and operation of a maximum-security prison for men with a capacity for 1,000 inmates. The estimated cost of that project was also pegged at $100 million.
The list also includes designing, building and financing an extension to PR-22 from Hatillo to Aguadilla, at an estimated $906 million. DTOP and the ACT also submitted that project.
Meanwhile, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority submitted a proposal to improve facilities at its San Juan and Palo Seco power plants through the provision of natural gas to generate cleaner power with a cleaner, cheaper fuel.
The project estimated at between $180 million and $300 million would enable PREPA to comply with Mercury and Air Toxic Standards regulations, while stabilizing the cost of energy in Puerto Rico. Furthermore, the agency would also supply natural gas to co-generating facilities in Aguirre and Costa Sur in the south.
Another major agency looking to benefit from P3 agreements is the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority, which is seeking an alliance to build and finance new infrastructure, improve upon existing facilities and provide system-wide maintenance. The agency did not submit how much the project would cost.
Major towns pursuing P3s
According to the list of projects obtained by this media outlet, the municipal governments of Bayamón, Mayagüez and Ponce are also seeking private partners for major infrastructure projects in their jurisdictions.
The Municipality of Bayamón submitted a proposal to build a 6.11-kilometer, four-lane extension of road PR-5 from PR-199 to PR-167, at an estimated cost of $163 million. The project would include a three-meter emergency lane and a toll plaza.
Meanwhile, the Ponce municipal government submitted a proposal for a $6 million urgent care center and ambulatory clinic to be located adjacent to the Dr. Tricoche hospital. The proposed Dr. Tricoche Health and Social Wellness Clinic would offer services to the uninsured population, including the homeless and drug-addicted citizens.
Rounding out the list is Mayagüez, which submitted three proposals, headed by one for a $30.2 million convention center and 150-room hotel. The ambitious project would be located adjacent to the new Parque del Litoral in that western town, while the hotel would be built on a nearby property, according to the project description.
The town is also seeking to build a new 100-bed shelter, with an estimated $4 million investment. The town would set aside 70 of the beds for homeless people whose services are currently paid for by the town and are offered through the existing municipal shelter.
Finally, the town is looking to transfer the management and operation of its main sports complex, the Palacio de los Deportes, and its fine arts theater, the Teatro Yagüez, to a private operator.