Amber consortium poised for Aussie schools project

The Learning Communities Victoria Consortium has been announced as the preferred bidder for the New Schools PPP project in Victoria.

The Learning Communities Victoria Consortium has been appointed by the Victorian Department of Education and Training as the preferred bidder to enter into exclusive negotiations for the New Schools Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Project, according to a statement.

The consortium is sponsored by the London-headquartered infrastructure specialist Amber Infrastructure Group (Amber), and other consortium members include Watpac Construction as the design-builder, Spotless as facilities manager, and YMCA to provide community services and activities.

The $291 million project comprises the delivery of 15 schools across 12 sites.

Under the PPP model, the new schools will be financed, designed, constructed, and maintained by the consortium to high contractual standards over 25 years.

The London Stock Exchange-listed infrastructure investment company, International Public Partnerships (INPP) – which is managed by Amber – will provide 100 percent of the project risk capital.

Contract negotiations are expected to conclude by the end of October. Further details on the transaction will be provided on financial close, which is expected in the fourth quarter this year.

Construction will begin by the end of this year to deliver the first group of nine schools before the commencement of the 2017 school year. The second group of six schools is expected to be delivered in time for commencement of the 2018 school year.

“We’re investing almost $4 billion to make Victoria the Education State, so that every community has a great local school and every child gets the chance to succeed,” said Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria.

Rupert Dorey, INPP’s chairman, commented: “We are delighted to have been named Preferred Bidder on the Victorian New Schools PPP Project. This demonstrates the company’s ability to continue to bring high quality international projects to the portfolio.”

INPP invests in global public infrastructure projects developed under the PPP and Private Finance Initiative (PFI) procurement methods, and now has a portfolio of over 100 assets across the UK, Europe, Canada and Australia.

Its core business is focused on infrastructure assets within the utilities, PPP, transport, renewable energy and regeneration sectors.