The Bhutan Education City Project was recognised as one of best public-private partnership (PPP) projects in the emerging markets by International Finance Corporation and will be awarded a bronze medal.
The project was nominated from East Asia, Pacific and South Asia region. Punjab Grain Silos in India was ranked first, followed by CLIFF Community Sanitation in India.
DHI Infra’s PR Manager Rinchen Phuntsho said the medal will be awarded in April during the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C. the USA.
The project was selected by the judging panel based on financial and technological innovation, developmental vision, impact on population and the number of people who will directly benefit as a result of the project.
Rinchen Phuntsho said that in order to find the most unique and groundbreaking PPP for emerging partnerships, IFC undertook a global outreach campaign to encourage governments, industries,
academia, non-governmental organisations, multinationals and anyone with interest in PPPs to nominate projects that have set new standards for developing and financing critical global infrastructure efficiently.
Dr Karma, the general manager for projects and interim CEO of DHI Infra, said the international recognition came as a big surprise and encouragement to the first major PPP project in Bhutan, which was implemented under support and guidance of Druk Holding and Investments (DHI), the commercial arm of the Government.
He said it is the recognition of the vision and positive impact of the project on the people and country through innovative procurement procedures and alternative development model that merited the bronze medal from a pool of 130 nominations. Similar business model, he said, will be used to develop the special economic zones, Amochu Land Reclamation and Township Development and other PPP projects.
The Bhutan Education City is the first major PPP project in Bhutan. The project was conceived by the government and entrusted to DHI for implementation under a PPP model. DHI then set up a subsidiary company called DHI Infra to undertake the project. DHI Infra implemented the project through Design Build Finance Own Operate and Transfer model, where international investors were solicited to take up the project through open, transparent and competitive process.
Nominations were accepted from August 6, 2012 until September 14, 2012. Over 130 online submissions were received. 120 nominations were eventually put forward as eligible to be considered by regional judging panels. Finalists were then selected by four independent judging panels, each comprised of esteemed group of PPP industry experts from that region.
In order to be considered for Emerging Partnerships, projects nominated had to have reached financial close for at least part of the project between January 2007 and June 2012, and could encompass both hard and soft infrastructure, such as education, forestry, health, hospitality, information technology, mining, municipal services, power, telecommunication, transport, waste, water and any other form of critical infrastructure.
In 2012, the Bhutan Education City Project was selected to be featured in “Infrastructure 100 Magazine” by KPMG, one of the largest professional services companies in the world with its headquarters in Netherlands, Deloitte of the UK, Ernst & Young of the USA and PricewaterhouseCoopers of Australia.