Barwa Real Estate Group will develop eight public schools across Qatar as part of the country’s plans to develop 45 schools through public-private partnerships (PPP), the first of its kind in the social infrastructure in the country.
Barwa has been selected as the “preferred bidder” for the “Qatar Schools PPP Development Programme – Package 1” by Ashghal. Under this project, Barwa would be developing the public schools across Qatar, for the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, as well as maintaining them for 25 years in return of rental income.
“This PPP endeavour is the first of its kind in Qatar and an investment opportunity which brings sustainable long term returns for the group and its shareholders,” Barwa said in its regulatory filing with the Qatar Stock Exchange.
Barwa Real Estate Group’s participation in the project remains subject to the finalisation of the project agreements with Ashghal and the satisfaction of conditions precedent, including financial closure.
The contract value and the financial impact would be announced after the commercial close and contract signing. Early last year, Qatar had announced plans to construct 45 new public schools under PPP at an estimated total capital cost of about QR4bn.
Under the PPP model, the private sector would bring the full package of design, construction, financing and facilities management to the project. The construction of schools, each with a capacity of 750 students, is based on population projections by municipalities. The PPP structure for schools in Qatar follows a similar structure that is followed in the UK and Australia. The key aspect of Qatar’s model is that any demand risk for the schools will not be transferred to the private sector PPP partner.
Earlier last year, Saud bin Abdullah al-Attiyah, Director of Economic Policy and Research Department at the Ministry of Finance, had said the payments from the government would be guaranteed for 25 years. The projects would be divided into six investment packages with the first package – comprising eight schools – to be completed in 15 months after the financial closure. The subsequent five packages comprise 6-8 schools each.
For the first package, lands have already been identified and made available and are ready for the construction. Of the eight schools, four will be located in North of Doha at Umm Slal and the remaining four in the South of Doha at Wakra/Wukair areas. All schools should be developed simultaneously
Source: Gulf Times (Dated: 30/04/2020)