Bids submitted for Puerto Rico airport PPP

The ASUR/Highstar Capital consortium and rival Ferrovial/Macquarie grouping have handed over their sealed proposals and bids to Puerto Rico’s Public-Private Partnerships Authority for the PPP of Luis Munoz Marin International Airport.

The two shortlisted bidders for Puerto Rico’s Luis Munoz Marin International Airport Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project yesterday submitted sealed proposals and bids at the offices of the Public-Private Partnerships Authority (PPPA) – meeting the scheduled 5.00pm 10 July deadline.

The PPPA will now conduct an evaluation of the proposals and bids during July before a final review process is undertaken with the Federal Aviation Administration. Assisting the PPPA in its evaluation are Puerto Rico’s Ports Authority, the Government Development Bank and the Projects Partnerships Committee.

The two bid teams are: the Aerostar Airport Holdings consortium, comprising Mexican airport operator Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (ASUR) and US fund manager Highstar Capital; and the Grupo Aeropuertos Avance consortium, made up of Ferrovial Aeropuertos – a subsidiary of Spanish infrastructure firm Grupo Ferrovial – and Australian fund manager Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.

The PPPA said its analysis of the proposals will be based on six criteria: compliance with the PPPA Act, P3 (PPP) regulations, certain proposal requirements and the absence of legal claims; high-level reputation, proven track record and technical and financial capability; an airport improvement operational plan; an airport investment financial plan; a plan to increase passengers and airlines; and a leasehold fee.

Luiz Munoz Marin International Airport is located five kilometres south-east of Puerto Rico’s capital city, San Juan, and serves as the Caribbean island’s main international gateway and main connection to the US. It serves over 4 million passengers per year.

“The benefits of this P3 will include, primarily, the modernisation and growth of our international airport, reducing the ports authority’s debt, and improving passenger services,” said Puerto Rico Ports Authority chairman Ruben Hernandez Gregorat in a statement. “We will analyse the proposal and make our recommendations to achieve a great project for Puerto Rico.”

Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the US, has been seen as a beacon of hope for an under-developed US PPP market. The $1.4 billion PR22/PR5 toll road was the first of the PPPA’s PPP projects to reach financial close in September last year, led by Abertis and Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners.

In May this year, the PPPA and Puerto Rico Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced they had received 11 bids in response to a Request for Qualifications for the design, build, finance and maintenance of a 600-bed juvenile social treatment centre known as Nuevo Comienzo (“New Beginning”).