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Connections

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Transport & ICT

96251

Advance Funding for Infrastructure PPPs


Cautions from Two Road Projects in Peru
Public Disclosure Authorized

Michel Kerf

Public private partnerships (PPPs) for infrastructure $826 million


projects require substantial initial funding that Capital raised in the
private operators in developing countries can international financial
rarely obtain in the domestic market. In 2005, markets in 200506
in the context of two important road projects, by concessionaires
the government of Peru introduced a financial for two road
innovation with two goals: improve the access of projects in Peru
the projects concessionaires to the international
financial markets and book government support
Public Disclosure Authorized

as an operating expense rather than debt. The


innovations offered distinct advantages to the concessionaires while imposing a significant
burden on the government, which has since stopped using them. Nonetheless, the new
approach can still be useful in carefully limited instances to help solve the funding problem.

Public Financing for Transport PPPs and a large portion of IIRSA Sur, connecting Peru
and Brazil.1 To increase the attractiveness of these
the PAO projects to the private sector and also reduce their
Structural reforms initiated in Peru in the early impact on the public debt, the government took
1990s led to a period of sustained economic a new approach that would (1) give the projects
growth in which the government turned to PPPs to private partners greater access to the financial mar-
generate investments in its airports, sea terminals, kets and (2) account for government obligations
and roads. The government provided financial sup- as operating expenses rather than as increases in
Public Disclosure Authorized

port to the PPPs using, among other instruments, sovereign debt.


Annual Payments for Works, or PAOs (Pago Anual
Instead of providing a stream of payments at the
por Obras). The PAO is a government obligation
end of a project, the government split the road proj-
that, upon successful completion of the project, it
ects into sections. Satisfactory completion of a seg-
will make a fixed number of equal annual payments
ment had to be certified by a government regulator,
to the concessionaire to cover construction costs.
after which the concessionaire received the right to
PAOs were considered to be sovereign debt.
a stream of annual payments for that segment.

The Innovationthe Unconditional That right to a payment stream was satisfied with a
series of government obligations called Certificates
CRPAO
of Recognition of Rights of Annual Payment for
In 2005, the government awarded PPP contracts Works, or CRPAOs (Certificados de Reconocimien-
for two key road projectsIIRSA Norte, linking the to de Derechos del Pago Anual por Obras,).
coastal and Amazonian ports in the north of Peru;
1 Neither project involved World Bank financing.

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Critical Features of the CRPAOs approval could not be overturned by any subsequent
discovery of flaws in performance).
The CRPAO payment obligation was crafted with
four characteristics designed to facilitate market ac- For the government, the CRPAOs were supposed to
cess: they were transferable, unconditional, equal in confer two distinct benefits: (1) generate more com-
rank to any other similar government obligation, and petition among bidders for PPP projects by making
subject to cross-default. it easier for private parties to reach financial closure
and (2) enable the government to provide financial
First, the CRPAOs were freely transferrable, allowing support to PPPs without adding to the national debt.
the concessionaire to sell them or issue securities
backed by the payment rights embodied in them. In the case of the IIRSA Norte, the CRPAOs had no
Thus, as work on the road projects moved forward, effect on the bidding because they were fashioned
CRPAOs gave the concessionaire access to private during negotiations with the winning bidder. But they
sector funds required to finance additional sections helped the winner mobilize full financing even before
of the project and thereby reduced the initial amount the start of construction, backing the issuance of $213
of capital that the concessionaire needed to raise. million of obligations on the New York stock exchange.
In the subsequent case of the IIRSA Sur, the number
Second, the payment rights embodied in the of bids did not appreciably increase, but the CRPAOs
CRPAOs were unconditionalfor example, they did enabled the winning bidder to raise $613 million.
not depend on construction of further sections of
the project, and they were not affected by any sub- The effort to use the CRPAOs to shield the govern-
sequent discovery of a deficiency in the completed ments debt did not succeed. In the course of its
section. In short, once it issued a CRPAO, the govern- Article IV consultation with Peru in 2006, the Inter-
ment could not contest it. national Monetary Fund found that the CRPAOs were
debt instruments. The government then refrained
Third, the CRPAOs claim on the government was
from using CRPAOs on any other projects because of
equal in rank with that of any other CRPAO or similar
the priority it assigned to reducing public debt.
instruments. Therefore, if the government issued a
similar instrument but with stronger payment rights,
those rights would also apply to all previously issued Lessons Learned
CRPAOs.
The financial power generated by the CRPAOs came
Fourth, CRPAOs were subject to cross-default: if the at the cost of heightening the construction risks
government defaulted on any CRPAO, the breach borne by the government. In addition, use of the
would be considered a default on all other CRPAOs CRPAOs for some projects might have made other
(although payments could not be accelerated be- projects less attractive for private operators given
yond the fiscal year of the default). the CRPAOs strong payment and cross-default pro-
visions. Finally, use of the CRPAOs could not avoid
The CRPAOs were also crafted with the objective
adding to the national debt.
of shielding the governments credit rating: the two
road concession agreements defined the CRPAOs as The misallocation of construction risks is argu-
current expenses of the governments budget and ably the most important drawback of the CRPAOs.
specified that they were not a sovereign debt of the Because of it, CRPAOs should be used only in rather
Republic of Peru. limited, well-circumscribed circumstances, for
example when local financial markets are undevel-
Effects of the Innovation oped, and mobilizing the required financing might
prove particularly challenging because government
The CRPAOs provided clear advantages to the commitments lack credibility with private investors.
private concessionaires: much less need for initial The CRPAOs should thus be only a temporary device
financing, strong payment guarantees, and reduced used to establish or re-establish confidence, not a
risk arising from nonperformance (the regulators permanent measure.

Connections is a weekly series of knowledge notes from the World Bank Groups Transport & Information and Communication
Technology (ICT) Global Practice. Covering projects, experiences, and front-line developments, the series is produced by Nancy
Vandycke, Shokraneh Minovi, and Adam Diehl and edited by Gregg Forte.
The notes are available at http://www.worldbank.org/transport/connections

MARCH 2015 NOTE 10