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A new path to national infrastructure

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16 de maio de 2019

A new path to national infrastructure

Artigo 3

On May 3, 19, Provisional Measure 882/2019 was issued, which, among other measures, approved the new version of the Investment Partnerships Program (PPI) and brought innovations related to how the State develops studies for the structuring of infrastructure projects.

The new PPI opens a phase with enormous potential for the development of the national infrastructure, since it expands the range of available tools to address one of the biggest bottlenecks for the expansion of the sector in the country that is the lack of good projects.

The stage of structuring an infrastructure project presupposes the realization of the feasibility studies necessary for the development of the enterprise and comprises several aspects such as market analysis, demand projections, economic and financial modeling, balancing of obligations attributed to the partner public and private, definition of the regulation and the applicable incentives, engineering and environmental studies, as well as elaboration of editalic documents, among others.
Because it is complex and unique, these studies are expensive and the Public Administration has tried, at its various levels, to deal with the challenges of making good hires.
The difficulties in getting good projects, as a rule, fall on three factors. The first is the budget issue, because often there are not even financial resources to hire the studies. Although the probable result of the studies would point to the realization of a pure concession, under the terms of Law 8,987 / 95, in the future discharging the State for the provision of public services, the immediate unavailability of resources prevents achieving this result.
The second factor is the absence, in many organs of the public administration, of a technical staff able to critically critique and validate studies carried out by contracted consultancies, which increases the risk of "capture" and impacting the quality of work.
Finally, the third factor refers to the traditional modalities of public contracting that, in general, prioritize the criterion of lower price to the detriment of the quality of specialized technical services.
These processes, for complex and singular contracting, such as the structuring of an infrastructure project, tend to distort the expected final result, since an eventual economy in the contracting of the study, which is, as a rule, a small fraction of the value of the investments required for the execution of the project, can mean the entrance of an "adventurer" and the realization of a project of low quality, with an impact on the credibility of the process and the attractiveness of investors. Factors that can ultimately lead, for example, to the failure of the process of a future concession.
Among the innovations proposed by MP 882/19 to confront this scenario, the first one aims to make possible the Private Funding for Project Structuring (FAEP), which could finance the preparation of studies by the National Bank for Social Development (BNDES ), which is recognized by the experience and capacity of its technical staff in conducting the country's major infrastructure and privatization projects.
Another innovation brought about by the provisional measure was the creation of a new bidding modality, the "collation", an instrument by which BNDES, within the scope of projects or policies qualified in the PPI, may select entities with a high technical specialization with flexibility and security necessary to proceed with the contracting and subsequent structuring of the projects.
Such measures will play a key role in the infrastructure development agenda as well as in the process of privatization, as they will give public managers new tools that will allow them to leverage a broad portfolio of good projects with a view to attracting private partners.

Pedro Bruno Barros de Souza is Secretary of Energy and Airports of the Investment Partnerships Program (PPI) and Robson Eneas de Oliveira, director of PPI

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