ECONOMY

Gov’t unveils more project plans under public/private partnership schemes

The Olympic tae kwon do indoor stadium at Palaio Faliron is to be turned into the Athens Metropolitan Convention Center through a public/private partnership (PPP) scheme, ministers announced yesterday. The project is one of a number approved on the basis of PPPs, worth a total of 123.5 million euros. They include seven new fire stations and the management of four major police buildings. Economy Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis said that the new projects, coming as they do after approval of the construction of 27 schools in the Attica area under PPPs, show that the scheme is working. The government’s private partner for the convention center will be selected through an international tender and will undertake the provision of all necessary maintenance work and management functions for 25 years. The center will have a total indoor available area of 28,000 square meters on three levels and will be able to host a wide variety of events. It is estimated these will number about 100, with a total of 70,000 attendants, in the first year of operation, and reach 200 in five years, with 160,000 attendants. Reconstruction and maintenance over 25 years is estimated at 56 million euros. The estimated cost of the construction of the seven fire stations (all outside Athens) is put at 23 million euros (at current prices) and of maintenance at 8.5 million for 25 years. The contract for management of the four police facilities, which include the regional headquarters for Attica on Alexandras Avenue, has a preliminary budget of 36 million euros for 15 years. The contractor will be paid after the selection. Highways Separately, opening an international symposium on the operation and management of highways, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said that Greece in a few years’ time will have the highest number of highway kilometers constructed through PPPs worldwide. «In coming years, 1,000 kilometers of highways will be constructed in this way,» she said. Furthermore, Bakoyannis noted that Greece already has considerable experience in the construction of large projects through concession agreements, such as Attiki Odos, the Rio-Antirio bridge and Athens airport. US Ambassador Charles Ries told the symposium, «the first good impression that a foreign visitor acquires after exiting Athens airport is Attiki Odos… large projects are constructed effectively and quickly in this way.»