Abu Dhabi issues PPP tenders for new schools and street lighting

Abu Dhabi Investment Office will also hold workshops to advise consultants on putting together bids

The second phase of a PPP project to replace traditional street lights with LED lighting is extending to the Al Ain City and Al Dhafrah regions. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Municipality
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Abu Dhabi Investment Office issued two tenders for major infrastructure projects to be delivered through public-private partnerships in the capital.

One of the projects is to develop, build, finance and operate three schools catering to more than 5,000 students in Zayed City and will cover a 22-year period. The other is the second package of an LED street lighting scheme to run for 12 years. Both will be part of the emirate's Partnerships Projects framework.

"Collaboration with the private sector is an integral part of the Abu Dhabi leadership’s vision to drive long-term economic growth in the emirate," Adio's director-general Tariq Bin Hendi said. "With Abu Dhabi’s PPP framework firmly established, we are launching new major infrastructure projects as part of a pipeline of PPP projects that will strengthen sustainable private sector-led economic growth in the emirate.”

Abu Dhabi announced plans to issue tenders worth Dh10 billion through the PPP model in February last year as part of the emirate's Dh50bn, three-year Ghadan21 accelerator programme. The first street lighting tender covering 43,000 lights across the emirate was awarded to Tatweer in March last year. Updated PPP regulations to encourage investment were issued last September.

Adio is the government authority charged with developing Abu Dhabi's infrastructure through the PPP process. It works with other government departments like the Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) and the Department of Municipalities and Transport to commission schemes.

Once expressions of interest for the latest projects have been received, it will hold technical workshops for local design and engineering consultancies and construction companies that are interested in bidding but do not have the experience of delivering infrastructure through PPP.

The Zayed City Schools PPP scheme will see three new schools built with a total capacity of 5,360 students. The package involves a two-year construction period followed by a 20-year maintenance package.

The schools will be built under the emirate's existing Charter School model, under which 15 schools owned by the public sector but operated by private sector entities have already been developed, Adek's undersecretary Amer Al Hammadi explained.

The street lighting project involves replacing about 140,000 of the emirate's street lights with energy-efficient LED lighting under a 12-year concession, with a view to generating cost savings of Dh705 million.

"In the second phase, we are expanding the geographical scope of the project to include Al Ain City and the Al Dhafrah region,” Abdullah Al Sahi, undersecretary of the Department of Municipalities and Transport, said.