Privatisation framework in Maryland mapped out

A commission has recommended a PPP programme for the Old Line State, home of the Seagirt terminal deal (pictured). The plan calls for a budget of between $205m and $315m.

A commission set up to outline what Maryland would need to do to develop a public-private partnership (PPP) programme has submitted its concept to the governor.

The joint legislative and executive committee on the oversight of public-private partnerships told governor Martin O’Malley the state should earmark 6 to 10 percent of its $3.1 billion annual capital budget – or between $205 million to $315 million – to invest in improving its transportation infrastructure via a PPP programme.

The group is chaired by lieutenant governor Anthony Brown, who in a statement stressed the would-be PPP programme would aim for job creation and hire 4,000 people.

The committee was established in 2010.

State transportation secretary Beverly Swaim Staley said the Seagirt Marine Terminal showed that private investment in public infrastructure can succeed in the state.

The Seagirt Marine Terminal project in Baltimore was awarded the title of North American Infrastructure Deal of the Year 2010 by Infrastructure Investor.

The project involved the construction of a new berth at the Seagirt Terminal at the Port of Baltimore. The broadening of the Panama Canal is likely to bring larger container shipment into the terminal. Private investor Highstar Capital gained union labor support for the deal.

The state PPP commission is akin to the privatisation group established in Pennsylvania, which is seeking possible private investment to cushion a budget shortfall.