Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) will be ideally placed to provide long-term assurance of ongoing projects in the region, says Stephen Jolley, Project Delivery, Bentley Systems.
PPPs are currently a good way for companies across the construction industry to guarantee ongoing work and a steady project pipeline, especially for industries providing software solutions and services like Bentley Systems, according to Jolley.
“If the pipeline is there, it is always good for us as it guarantees a steady flow of work,” he said.
Until recently, the GCC has never needed to use the PPP model, secured by extensive oil reserves and stable economies.
But though the PPP model has been used for decades in other parts of the world, it has recently become more popular across the GCC due to the current economic situation.
“It was actually in their best interest to keep a bit of control on the progress of development in the region as infrastructure projects run by the private sector in other countries tended to suffer from extremely long gestation periods,” he said.
For this reason, the planning period for any project in the GCC has always moved at a faster pace, though taking considerably longer in other parts of the world.
Bentley has continued to provide software to companies in the construction industry over the past two years at a stable pace despite challenges in the market and expects to continue to do so regardless of the procurement model used.
The strongest sectors for the company currently for GCC markets include transport and rail which are “very strong”, as well as infrastructure. “We are heavily focused on infrastructure as government spending continues to be high,” he said.
However, like many others in the region, the company realises the benefits to using the PPP model in what is viewed as a changing time for the industry.
“PPPs are providing new opportunities that we would have otherwise not seen in the past,” said Jolley.
In the long-term, PPP is very much a project life-cycle based process as it focuses around the asset itself and where the majority of revenues from PPP projects come from operations rather than capital project pieces.
It also acts as a great way in reducing risk factors for the company as it is an asset driven process, a model the company is already familiar with.
“The operational cost for PPPs are huge compared to the capital cost, therefore it is important to give a whole life-cycle view of this type of project, which Bentley Systems currently provides,” added Jolley.