Helme: Four lane roads, Muhu bridge possible with private sector projects
Finance Minister Martin Helme said that with cooperation between the public sector and the private sector, the Tallinn-Pärnu, Tallinn-Tartu and Tallinn-Narva roads could be reconstructed into four-lane highways within the coming years.
The Finance Minister added that he intends to propose the projects to the government. Helme noted that all these major projects would benefit from public-private partnership (PPP).
To get a better understanding of how PPP would work in Estonia, Helme visited Germany and Austria earlier this week, spokespeople for the Ministry of Finance said.
"The purpose of our visit was to get acquainted with the experience of other states and major builders to determine whether an approach like this could suit Estonia," Helme said in a press release.
Adding he firmly believes that PPP would enable Estonia to fully reconstruct the Tallinn-Pärnu, Tallinn-Tartu and Tallinn-Narva roads into four-lane roads already within the coming years.
Helme also mentioned building a possible bridge to the island of Muhu, which would connect Saaremaa, the country's biggest island, with the mainland.
As part of the visit, meetings were held with representatives of several major enterprises with experiences in carrying out PPP projects as well as with representatives of the Finance Ministry of North Rhine-Westphalia and those of a law firm specializing in consulting PPP project agreements.
The Estonian Ministry of Finance said that PPP projects are widely used in Europe and elsewhere as risks and financing in the projects are shared between the private and the public sector.
PPP projects enable the public sector to order large-scale works, payment for which is carried out in the form of an operating lease. The advantage of PPP projects is that large infrastructure objects can be completed quickly and repaid without increasing the public sector's credit burden.
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Editor: Helen Wright