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info@resilienceshift.org
The role of PPPs as a driver of
critical infrastructure resilience:
An industry perspective
Elisa McLennan | Australian Economics Skills Leader
01 02 03
04
Outline
Key findings from
investors, developers,
and operators
Summary of findings to
drive critical infrastructure
resilience through PPPs
Our approach to
understanding the role of
PPPs in critical
infrastructure resilience
Setting the scene for
resilience and PPPs
Setting the scene
• PPPs in the Australian context
• PPPs aren’t new
• Why focus on PPPs for critical infrastructure
resilience?
Our approach
• One on one interviews with investors,
developers and operators
• Key projects examined across a range of
sectors
• Identification of consistent themes
Key findings
1. Ownership and appropriate risk transfer
drives resilient thinking
Key findings
1. Ownership and appropriate risk transfer
drives resilient thinking
2. Experience and approach of government
client is key to successful and resilient
PPPs
Key findings
1. Ownership and appropriate risk transfer
drives resilient thinking
2. Experience and approach of government
client is key to successful and resilient
PPPs
3. Federal and State / Territory PPP policies
are mature; however, resilience policies are
currently emerging, and are not consistently
embedded in infrastructure delivery.
Key findings
4. Insurers’ appetite to cover resilience-related
claims is diminishing, and premiums are
increasing
Key findings
4. Insurers’ appetite to cover resilience-related
claims is diminishing, and premiums are
increasing
5. Whole of life design is enhanced, but
systems thinking varies by sector
Summary
Theme Enabler / challenge
Ownership and appropriate transfer
of risk drives resilient thinking
Enabler
Experienced government partners
are key
Enabler / challenge
Policy into practice Enabler / challenge
Insurer appetite is changing Challenge
Whole of life design but limited
systems thinking
Challenge
Interview findings
Summary
• Proactive rather than reactive approach to
critical infrastructure resilience
Summary
• Proactive rather than reactive approach to
critical infrastructure resilience
• Undertake rigorous pre-tender due diligence and
embed resilience into tender specifications
Summary
• Proactive rather than reactive approach to
critical infrastructure resilience
• Undertake rigorous pre-tender due diligence and
embed resilience into tender specifications
• Streamline resilience policy at a National to State /
Territory level, and embed resilience policies into the
Infrastructure Australia PPP policy and guidelines
Summary
• Proactive rather than reactive approach to
critical infrastructure resilience
• Undertake rigorous pre-tender due diligence and
embed resilience into tender specifications
• Streamline resilience policy at a National to State /
Territory level, and embed resilience policies into the
Infrastructure Australia PPP policy and guidelines
• Investigate the use of government insurers for PPPs
and the impact of this on both the Government and
private sector.
resilienceshift.org
info@resilienceshift.org
Thank you
@resilienceshift
The Resilience Shift

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Role of PPPs in Critical Infrastructure Resilience

  • 1. resilienceshift.org info@resilienceshift.org The role of PPPs as a driver of critical infrastructure resilience: An industry perspective Elisa McLennan | Australian Economics Skills Leader
  • 2. 01 02 03 04 Outline Key findings from investors, developers, and operators Summary of findings to drive critical infrastructure resilience through PPPs Our approach to understanding the role of PPPs in critical infrastructure resilience Setting the scene for resilience and PPPs
  • 3. Setting the scene • PPPs in the Australian context • PPPs aren’t new • Why focus on PPPs for critical infrastructure resilience?
  • 4. Our approach • One on one interviews with investors, developers and operators • Key projects examined across a range of sectors • Identification of consistent themes
  • 5. Key findings 1. Ownership and appropriate risk transfer drives resilient thinking
  • 6. Key findings 1. Ownership and appropriate risk transfer drives resilient thinking 2. Experience and approach of government client is key to successful and resilient PPPs
  • 7. Key findings 1. Ownership and appropriate risk transfer drives resilient thinking 2. Experience and approach of government client is key to successful and resilient PPPs 3. Federal and State / Territory PPP policies are mature; however, resilience policies are currently emerging, and are not consistently embedded in infrastructure delivery.
  • 8. Key findings 4. Insurers’ appetite to cover resilience-related claims is diminishing, and premiums are increasing
  • 9. Key findings 4. Insurers’ appetite to cover resilience-related claims is diminishing, and premiums are increasing 5. Whole of life design is enhanced, but systems thinking varies by sector
  • 10. Summary Theme Enabler / challenge Ownership and appropriate transfer of risk drives resilient thinking Enabler Experienced government partners are key Enabler / challenge Policy into practice Enabler / challenge Insurer appetite is changing Challenge Whole of life design but limited systems thinking Challenge Interview findings
  • 11. Summary • Proactive rather than reactive approach to critical infrastructure resilience
  • 12. Summary • Proactive rather than reactive approach to critical infrastructure resilience • Undertake rigorous pre-tender due diligence and embed resilience into tender specifications
  • 13. Summary • Proactive rather than reactive approach to critical infrastructure resilience • Undertake rigorous pre-tender due diligence and embed resilience into tender specifications • Streamline resilience policy at a National to State / Territory level, and embed resilience policies into the Infrastructure Australia PPP policy and guidelines
  • 14. Summary • Proactive rather than reactive approach to critical infrastructure resilience • Undertake rigorous pre-tender due diligence and embed resilience into tender specifications • Streamline resilience policy at a National to State / Territory level, and embed resilience policies into the Infrastructure Australia PPP policy and guidelines • Investigate the use of government insurers for PPPs and the impact of this on both the Government and private sector.

Editor's Notes

  1. PPPs in the Australian context Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are the focus for this study as they are consistently recognised as a value for money approach for governments to procure infrastructure as they: Leverage the expertise and efficiency of the private sector Raise capital from the private sector to deliver public goods, and Allocate risk to the party (public or private) best able to manage the risk. PPPs are a long-term contract between a private party and a government entity for providing a public asset or service, in which the private party bears significant risk and management responsibility, and remuneration is linked to performance. In Australia, PPPs are categorised as either ‘social infrastructure PPPs’ (i.e. non-income producing) such as schools, hospitals and prisons, or ‘economic infrastructure PPPs’ (i.e. income producing) such as roads and railways. PPPs usually involve: Private sector finance, and The bundling of design, construction, maintenance and sometimes other services into a single long-term ‘whole of life’ contract. PPPs aren’t new While PPPs are not new in Australia, they tend to represent less than 10 per cent of total government infrastructure procurement. The use of PPPs is greatest in New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, where all interviewees for this report were based. Why focus on PPPs? The private sector assumes responsibility for the infrastructure and is therefore likely to invest in more durable materials or efficient technologies to drive down lifecycle costs. While not the cheapest option in the short term, they have the potential to drive savings over the long term through decreased energy usage, lower maintenance costs, or enhanced resiliency.
  2.   Through the interviews we aimed to understand: Is there evidence to support the notion that PPPs drive long term decision making, which is an essential context for resilience? What are the key enablers in the design and delivery of PPPs for resilient infrastructure? What are the key challenges in the design and delivery of PPPs for resilient infrastructure? Do PPPs promote ‘systems’ rather than asset thinking? Key projects Victorian Desalination Project PPP Bendigo Hospital Project PPP Metro Tunnel PPP West Gate Tunnel Project PPP Cross River Rail Tunnel, Stations and Development PPP Energy supplier operations in Victoria (privatised)
  3.   Holding the asset for a 20 to 30‑year concession period encourages investors, developers and operators to address resilience in design and operations. This is in part driven by the requirement to transfer the asset back to the Government at the end of the concession with a residual design life. Resilience is a greater factor in design where the investor is also developing (and in some cases operating) the asset. Interviewees who invested and developed PPPs noted the increased understanding this required of the asset, which in turn resilience. The Australian toll road operator, Transurban (www.transurban.com.au) invests in, develops and operates many of its PPP assets, providing an inherent incentive to address resilience in both construction and operations. This arrangement provides a clear incentive for the PPP developer (in this case Transurban) as there is a direct relationship with the customer, and therefore a fundamental requirement for a quality and uninterrupted service, enabling more resilient infrastructure. Further this arrangement drives consideration of reputation and coexistence with the customer over the long term. Investors who intend to own the asset for 5-7 years then sell are less invested in long-term performance, and therefore resilience is not embedded. Regulators, market benchmarking and financial penalties drive improved performance and reliability of services, highlighting the need for Government tender documents to align resilient requirements with financial incentives. The transfer of risk to the private sector drives greater innovation. The additional rigour which investors and lenders apply to the risk assessment and monitoring of a project is a key factor in the performance of PPPs over traditional procurements. While organisations understand how resilience relates to natural disasters, our findings from the interviews suggest that unless organisations operate within a sector which has been noticeably affected by natural hazards and climate change, priority to resilience in design is addressed primarily through tender specifications or regulated design requirements.
  4. Experienced government clients will have conducted thorough due diligence and prepared a well-informed and detailed tender specification. This enables the private sector to focus their bidding time on driving performance and innovation in resilience. If resilience concerns are not identified prior to financial close, further design challenges and costs are pushed downstream to the project lifecycle, compromising the quality of outcome. The lack of flexibility in negotiating with Government post-financial close under the PPP structure means that any changes can be slow and costly. Our interviews found that the success of this project was embedded in the experience and expertise of the Department of Health and Human Services in delivering PPPs, having previously delivered Casey Community Hospital, Royal Women’s Hospital, Royal Children’s Hospital, and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre. This PPP was also delivered by an experienced consortium (similar to that used on Royal Children’s Hospital). Resilience embedded in the project includes: A separate Diesel Rotary Uninterrupted Power Supply (DRUPS), one of only two in Australia and recognised in disaster resilience through combining the functionality of a battery or flywheel-powered UPS and a diesel generator. In addition, a 200kW grid connected solar PV system generates close to 260,000 kWh per year, equivalent to reducing emissions by 328,000kg CO2e. A helipad provided in addition to the tender specifications to enhance resilience in operations by reducing travel times for critical patients from Bendigo to Melbourne by 30 minutes. This also provides an alternate transport option for critical patients in the event of a natural hazard. Resilience is embedded in the design as the hospital is designed to operate in a ‘disaster mode’ through strict protocols for space, segregation and staging for processes, as well as World Health Organisation emergency preparedness training for all staff. In a disaster, hospitals become the epicentre for the community, and must function.
  5.   Policies for the implementation of PPPs are well established in Australia by the Federal Government (Infrastructure Australia), and through this by State / Territory Treasury Departments. All interviewees had a sophisticated understanding of the PPP guidelines, which are relatively consistent (and aligned to Infrastructure Australia) across each State / Territory. Policies related to resilience are currently seen at the Federal Government level through several guidelines, in particularly the Critical Infrastructure Strategy. However, this Strategy does not dictate State / Territory policies as is the approach of the Federal Government PPP policy. As a result, policies at a State / Territory level differ between each State / Territory All interviewees had a sophisticated understanding of PPP policy guidelines, having invested, developed and / operated projects under these guidelines multiple times. Interviewees were aware of specific State based requirements directly relevant to their asset, however they were not aware of Federal based policies focussed on resilience, or specific levers.  . This suggests: There does not appear to be a single Federal Policy / Guideline reference point for resilience, as is the case for PPPs There does not appear to be a clear integration of Federal policies /guidelines with State / Territory based resilience policies. Interviewees identified that they currently develop and operate PPPs in line with the defined tender specifications and evaluation criteria under the PPP, rather than through defined resilience guidelines. This highlights the complexities in addressing resilience, as resilience is specific to each individual sector / project. Examples include: Victorian Desalination Plant: Resilience in water supply and quality e.g. reducing the risk of contamination from bushfires. Bendigo Hospital: Resilience in operations to ensure the hospital is effectively running in the event of a natural disaster, noting that hospitals are a space for the community in such a situation. Metro Tunnel: Resilience in the energy supply. However, it is noted that in the Victorian context where energy is privatised, the power supply is not provided under the PPP.
  6. The impact of insurance within PPPs is a concern for the PPP market, and was identified through our interviews as an evolving issue. This impact was identified in relation to both the cost and availability of insurance to the private sector. In the context of resilience, and for each of the Victorian examples discussed (as outlined in Section 2), interviewees identified the following key considerations now and in the future: Insurance related to the stage of the project i.e. construction or operation The definition of force majeure relevant to that project, and Whether the risk is insurable by the private sector. Key findings from the interviews include: For insurable risks, the cost of insurance was of largest concern. Interviewees noted the decision is often taken at bidding stage to either: ‘design out’ the risk, where the risk is cheaper to design out than insure, or Insure the risk, where the cost is less than ‘designing out’ There is not always an urgency to focus on resilience as the majority of Australia has not directly faced the consequences of low probability high impact events (the exception being Queensland becoming more proactive due to the risk of flooding). Insurers are becoming less willing to cover and pay out claims associated with natural disasters, as is seen in the New Zealand case study above. With the increasing size, cost and therefore risk of large PPPs, the ability and willingness for insurers to provide adequate cover is reduced. With the increase in force majeure events, the appetite by insurers may diminish, leading to an increased reliance on public entities. Public entities are seen to provide lower cost insurance to PPPs. The 2018 UK National Audit Office (NAO) Report PFI and PF2 recommended the public sector self-insures as it considers the government is best placed to pool these risks. This reflected the finding that private insurance was driving up the cost of PPPs in the UK, as bidders were pricing the cost of insurance at a 20% premium to the market price in order to provide protection against future price rises.  We note that while insurance costs are increasing, the UK Government decision to move away from PPPs is not directly tied to insurance costs.In Victoria, the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA) covers insurance for risks not covered by the private sector under PPPs. The ability for VMIA to take on more risk as the private sector appetite to cover these risks diminishes will have a significant impact on PPPs going forward. Innovative mechanisms such as Catastrophe Bonds are also developing in the market, however it is noted these products were not identified by interviewees.
  7. Throughout the interviews a strong focus on whole-of-life design was observed within PPP development and operations, however the extent to which systems thinking was applied, and the extent to which interdependencies within the system were recognised, varied dependant on the sector. Systems thinking was demonstrated in the health sector through the Bendigo Hospital PPP, primarily driven by the nature of hospitals being designed for ‘disaster mode.’ The systems thinking in Bendigo Hospital is seen through the: Energy: A Diesel Rotary Uninterrupted Power Supply (DRUPS) and – specifically relating to systems – a 200kW grid connected solar PV system. Transport: A helipad provided in addition to the tender specifications to enhance resilience in operations by reducing travel times for critical patients from Bendigo to Melbourne by 30 minutes. This also provides an alternate transport option for critical patients in the event of a natural hazard (e.g. bushfire, localised flooding). Social: Resilience is embedded in the design as the hospital is designed to operate in a ‘disaster mode’ through strict protocols for space, segregation and staging for processes, as well as World Health Organisation emergency preparedness training for all staff. In a disaster, hospitals become the epicentre for the community, and must function. Interviewees related to economic infrastructure demonstrated an approach to holistic whole-of-life design, however perhaps by the nature of the sector and the Australian market context, systems thinking was limited. For example, in rail projects such as Metro Tunnel, energy is not packaged under the PPP. This is likely due to the nature of the privatised energy market, and the Government’s existing ability to negotiate with energy suppliers. As discussed above and in the previous sections, PPPs enhance a holistic approach to whole-of-life design. Systems thinking however, was only observed in the health sector – due primarily to the need to operate as an epicentre for the community in a disaster.
  8.   Take a proactive rather than reactive approach to critical infrastructure resilience Undertaking rigorous pre-tender due diligence Streamlining resilience policy at a National to State / Territory level, and embedding resilience policies into the Infrastructure Australia PPP policy and guidelines Investigating further the use of government insurers such as the VMIA for PPPs and the impact of this on both the Government and private sector.