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Global Infra Hub launches online project pipeline network

The infrastructure nonprofit group has created a platform that allows governments and investors to communicate about financing infrastructure projects.

The Global Infrastructure Hub has created an online pipeline database for governments and investors to network about funding infrastructure projects.

GI Hub’s Project Pipeline is a platform that gathers and standardises information about government-sponsored infrastructure projects in various stages of development around the world. The database launched with around 50 proposed projects in various countries across Latin America and Asia.

The service is free of charge for governments and investors. It helps GI Hub, a nonprofit based in Sydney established by the G20 countries in 2014, fulfill its mandate to increase the supply of government-backed infrastructure projects on the global market. The hub has set a goal to unlock $2 trillion in global infrastructure capacity by 2030.

Richard Timbs, a senior director at GI Hub, noted that over the next three to five years, 65 percent of infrastructure investors intend to increase their allocations, while investors looking for emerging market opportunities will double.

“There is an enormous reserve of capital waiting to be tapped,” he told Infrastructure Investor.
Introducing the private sector to government-sponsored projects in need of funding through an online, centralised network can help tap this pool of capital, he said. “Anything that the Hub can do to bring those two together, even in small incremental steps, will help to address the problem of a shortfall of projects.”

The pipeline hopes to address difficulties investors have finding quality public-private partnerships and government infrastructure projects.

Many countries have their own pipelines with varying content and required information. Project Pipeline will standardise this information to provide investors “visibility, clarity and consistency of information,” Timbs said.

Projects will be categorised into eight stages covering a project’s lifecycle. Government agencies will submit specific details about projects such as unsolicited proposal processes or PPP financing structures.

For governments, the database can act as a marketing tool, Timbs said.

Mexico is one of seven countries who have proposed projects at the Project Pipeline’s launch. The others include China, South Korea, New Zealand, New South Wales in Australia, Colombia and Uruguay.

PPPs has been a vital part of how Mexico develops infrastructure projects, said Francisco Antonio González Ortiz Mena, director of banking at Banobras, a state-owned development bank. Around 40 percent of Mexico’s national infrastructure program is supposed to be financed through PPPs, he said.

Ortiz Mena added that Project Pipeline can be a “very powerful instrument” because it will help Mexico’s procuring agencies better understand what information to present to investors.

“We will be able to get more interest in the projects that are coming up the line,” he said. “That will help us develop the infrastructure in a more competitive way.”

The pipeline will launch on Tuesday and is expected to have up to 20 participating countries from G20 developing nations in the coming years. The database will continue to be improved as governments and investors provide feedback, Timbs said.