Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are a bit like snowflakes – no two are alike. In fact, for municipalities looking at alternative forms of funding for capital projects, there are a multitude of options that can make any arrangement a custom fit for the particular situation.
Asset-intensive sectors, such as utilities, are seeking solutions to a number of interdependent and convergent challenges. These include increasing stakeholder and customer service expectations; ageing infrastructure; resilience of critical asset systems; and sustainability of capital funding.
Many water utility leaders recognize that using asset management concepts can help address their most pressing challenges. Asset management provides a risk-based investment approach that is replicable, auditable and targets the best return on investment.
As power, oil and gas, water and wastewater utilities begin the process of exploring how to build their next large infrastructure project, the most important decision in the entire process may rest with the selection of the EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) contractor. While many EPC providers exist, they operate in varied fashions – and some of those characteristics are unseen.
To achieve efficiency improvements, water and wastewater utilities might be wise to consider performance contracting, which can deliver much-needed operational efficiencies with manageable lifecycle costs and minimized risk.
Procurement for land mobile radio (LMR) systems that provide emergency communications usually follows a standard process, whereby agencies, like municipalities and federal and state entities, prepare a single request for proposal (RFP) that covers all phases of the project.
“We have thousands of thermocouples, meters, sensors and alarms, and on a good day we can pay attention to 1 in 10,” a plant operator recently said. “We know we’re missing data that could help our performance and maintenance planning, but unless we hire 10 more operators, what can we do?”
Singapore’s fifth desalination plant will be co-located within an existing facility, such as a power or steam generation plant on Jurong Island. This is expected to boost synergies in resources, such as seawater intake and outfall structures or energy.
Renewables, smart grid technologies, hybrid generation and microgrids. Asian power providers have traditionally focused on coal to provide inexpensive power to keep pace with the region’s growth. Today, shifting clean energy policies challenge this model.
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