A tender was recently issued for private companies by the education ministry in Saudi Arabia. This will aim to build at least 60 schools in the kingdom. The tender was issued by the government in an effort to ease pressure on the state’s finances.
Previously the government issued such projects out of its own pocket. However the current financial strains faced by the government have led it to look for private investors. This strategy to help out the government is part of the economic reforms announced in 2016 under which the kingdom would seek to use public-private partnership ( PPPs) to give responsibility for building and operating much of its infrastructure, including school and hospital buildings and airports, to local and foreign companies, creating tens of billions of dollars of business opportunities.
Tatweer Buildings Co (TBC) is a state-owned corporation that manages such projects. In its recent statement TBC said that the winning bidder would be awarded a long-term concession to design, build, finance and maintain facilities for 60 schools in Jeddah and Mecca, from kindergartens to secondary schools. It added that bidders are should express interest by Feb. 7. TBC also informed that it would soon hold a conference in Riyadh for property developers, investors and financial institutions, as well as legal and technical professionals.
The said tender is for a PPP in which a private firm or consortium would be paid to build and then operate facilities over a period. However after a period of time it would then finally be turned over to the state.
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