Investments in Infrastructure through PPP in Spain Past Achievements and Current Trends

Alejandro Lopez Martinez, Cesar Queiroz

Last modified: 2017-02-28


Concessions and public-private partnership (PPP) agreements appear to be an adequate approach to tackle infrastructure deficit and promote sustainability in the road sector. However, when different models are analyzed in several countries and regions, successful stories are not always found. In order to build a successful story, several steps are needed, including political commitment and clear policy, competent public administration, a legislative framework to enable PPP, availability of both public and private capital, and willingness to invest by the private sector. Also, a positive economic framework is a contributing success factor. This paper reviews the required legal framework that supports the concept of PPP, such as a suitable procurement law promoting a competitive selection of concessionaires, the transfer of risks to the private sector, and the use of minimum revenue guarantees to mitigate risks, focusing on the case of Spain. It also discusses past success stories and current trends as a consequence of the financial crisis. Spain has a dense road network of more than 165,000 kilometers in an area of approximately 500,000 square kilometers. Highways and high capacity corridors represent more than 15,000 kilometers and many of them are managed through a PPP scheme. A review of basic PPP concepts under the Spanish PPP law is presented, including recent policy changes, pointing out the main responsibilities of the public and private partners in the process. Furthermore, the paper describes the PPP bidding process emphasizing the different steps of the process and how the stakeholders interact. The paper also describes good governance recommendations to ensure that the private sector’s involvement yields the maximum benefit for the public, as well as future challenges for infrastructure concessions in Spain.


infrastructure; Spain; roads; PPP; concessions

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