ECONOMY

Spate of PPP projects slated to take shape this year

The government plans to issue tenders for projects worth 640 million euros this year, to be constructed under private-public partnerships (PPPs), and approve others worth -465 million, sources said. Under the PPP schemes, the projects are constructed by private operators and then leased to the government for 25 years. The tenders will start next month, with the construction of seven fire service stations, the cost of which is estimated at -31 million. The Olympic tae kwon do indoor stadium at Faliron, which is to be turned into a conference center, will follow in May. The cost is estimated at 60 million. Later in the year, the scheduled tenders are for 27 schools in the Attica area (-150 million) and three prisons in Thessaloniki, Volos and Corinth (-200 million). More projects to be approved include schools in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, police buildings, regional authority facilities and three hospitals. It is considered certain that the tenders will attract interest from Greek and foreign construction companies. The sources said that foreign companies, particularly UK-based investment banks, have noted with interest that procedures for PPPs have been approved relatively speedily. Interest is considered especially strong in the building of schools, which have relatively high budgets. According to the sources, the government views PPPs as a useful tool for the maintenance of high growth rates in coming years.