Ireland kicks off Grangegorman tender

The Dublin Institute of Technology is part of the €650m of PPPs due to be delivered by the country’s development finance agency.

Ireland has launched procurement for Dublin’s Institute of Technology campus at Grangegorman.

The tendering process, kicked off via a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union inviting submissions, is managed by the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA). The deadline for submission of pre-qualification submissions is 16 December 2013.

Due to begin in 2015, the construction phase is expected to finish by 2017. The campus will comprise a total floor area of around 50,000m2 and be able to accommodate 10,000 students upon completion.

The new facility is part of the €650 million of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects to be delivered by the NDFA, as part of the €2.25 billion Infrastructure Stimulus Programme announced by the Irish government in July 2012. Phase one of the package, the proposed PPP pipeline, amounts to €1.4 billion.

Among these, the NDFA will be responsible for procuring three education PPPs, up to two health PPPs and three justice PPPs. The National Roads Authority (NRA) will be in charge of tendering for the various road PPPs, which will account for €750 million.

The National Development Agency is the statutory financial advisor to state authorities for all public investment projects worth more than €20 million. It also assumes full responsibility for the procurement and delivery of PPPs in sectors other than transport and local authorities.

On the Grangegorman campus tender, it is both the procuring body on behalf of the Minister of Education and Skills and the financial adviser for the project. The Grangegorman Development Agency acts as the sponsoring agency.

PPPs received a boost yesterday when the UK’s Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors called for a greater effort to educate about their benefits and a performance index to evaluate projects. Partnerships were seen as a crucial source of capital to bridge the global ‘infrastructure gap’, which the World Economic Forum values at $1 trillion per annum over the coming years.

Ireland has been one of the most active advocates of the model, with more than €6 billion of PPPs closed since 1999 in sectors including transport, health, education and water services. Its next wave of procurement comes at a time when PPP activity has fallen worldwide, with core markets, such as the UK, designing revamped versions of the framework in the hope to revive deal flow.