Clean energy giant Tesla and Paris-based utilities group Suez — which in 2002 won a water management contract from the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority — are among the 13 consortia that have been shortlisted in the procurement processes for two priority projects and one unsolicited project under the government’s public-private partnership (P3) mechanism.
Omar J. Marrero, executive director of the Puerto Rico Public-Private Partnerships Authority, announced that the three projects are: the optimization of PRASA’s metering system and customer experience; the transformation of the maritime transportation system for the ferry service routes between Ceiba and the island municipalities of Culebra and Vieques and between San Juan and Cataño, and an energy storage system project.
Marrero explained that these three projects went through the required evaluation process, as specified in the Public-Private Partnerships Act.
“After carefully evaluating the proponents, we have selected the candidates that are better qualified to develop these projects,” Marrero said. “We are very pleased with the renowned consortia that are moving forward in the procurement process given their reputation and their proven level of experience.”
The optimization project of PRASA’s metering system and customer service, which consists of improving PRASA’s efficiency and replacing meters with more modern ones, received responses to the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) from five proponents:
- BLU WATER Consortium
- IBT Group Team
- Puerto Rico Advanced Intelligent Metering Services (“AIMS”)
- SUEZ Group
Suez Group, through subsidiary Ondeo, is a repeat proponent, as it won a 10-year $400 million contract to run PRASA in 2002. Considered the world’s largest operations and management contract at the time, it included plans to install water meters, and supporting the “Agua para todos” project, among other tasks. However, that contract was subsequently canceled.
As for the project that seeks viable and efficient alternatives to provide the transportation services presently provided by the Maritime Transportation Authority to the island municipalities of Vieques and Culebra and between Cataño and San Juan, response to the RFQ were received from five (5) proponents interested in taking part in the procurement process. This project requires a potential investment of between $20 million and $25 million, according to published reports.
The P3 Authority shortlisted:
- Balearia Caribbean Inc.
- HMS Ferries, Inc.
- Priority Roro Services, Inc.
- Puerto Rico Fast Ferries, LLC
- Seastreak, LLC
This short list also includes another company that has already been involved with the ferry system, Puerto Rico Fast Ferries, which in 2012 was chosen to provide the maritime transportation service between Puerto Rico and the island municipalities. Two years later, the government rescinded the contract.
Lastly, for the Energy Storage project, consisting of the development and installation of energy storage systems in several critical substations of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, out of eleven proponents, the following four were shortlisted:
- AES Puerto Rico, L.P. and Fluence Energy, LLC.
- Invenergy Storage Development, LLC
- PowerSecure, Inc.
- Tesla Inc.
After Hurricane María, Tesla approached the government to propose the installation of a dozen battery banks at electrical substation that serve critical facilities throughout the island. The investment was projected at $13 million.
“We are working on these high impact projects as part of the P3 agenda whose main objective is to transform and revive Puerto Rico’s economy. These P3 projects further the development of infrastructure and are key to continue promoting the economic growth of our island,” Marrero said.
“We are focused and working harder than ever on this objective as it is one of the premises established by Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. Puerto Rico is generating unique opportunities as reflected by the market’s interest in the Island,” Marrero said.
In addition, the P3A intends to issue requests for proposals in October, inviting the shortlisted consortia to submit their specific proposals for the energy storage system and the transformation of the ferry system transformation for the island municipalities, Cataño and San Juan.