CEE PPP & Infrastructure Forum

The 3rd Edition of our annual CEE PPP & Infrastructure Forum took place on 16-17 October at the prestigious InterContinental Hotel in Warsaw, Poland. The conference brought together leading international experts and regional stakeholders to address the current issues and opportunities within PPP developments in the CEE region. 

We would like to thank our Silver Sponsors, Mott MacDonald, FBSerwis and Allen & Overy and our Associate Sponsor RBConsult. Furthermore, we would like to thank our partners UKTI, CATI and BPCC, as well as our media partners, speakers and delegates. 

Special thanks to our Chairmen of the conference, Mr. Witold Grzybowski from Collect Consult and Prof. Adam Prokopowicz from CATI/Infratrans Group.  The conference began with an opening address from our chairman Mr. Witold Grzybowski, which was followed by the first session of the day provided by Mr Filip Drapak, Senior specialist a Consultant and Senior Specialist at the World Bank Group, IFC. Mr Drapak focused on the importance of  market research methodology and resulting key findings. The conclusion of the presentation tends to expose weaknesses in central government role as a leading force in shaping and enhancing the PPP market. Examples were shown on the basis of  The Economist Market Intelligence Report  Evaluating the environment for public-private partnerships in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States , published in the framework of  the 2012 EECIS Infrascope.

This presentation was followed by a panel discussion, chaired by Mr. Drapak and joined by Mr. Artur Pielech, FSerwis S.A., Mr. Georgi K. Petrov, IFC and Mr. Toshiaki Sakatsume, EBRD. Conclusions of the first Panel Discussion assessing impact of present conditions on current  and the future PPP projects were emphasising role of national governments and the financial markets in providing stability that was necessary to create climate in which long-term political, financial and social commitments could be fruitfully undertaken.

After the coffee break, the conference resumed with the capacity building panel discussion, discussing "Institutional Frameworks - what steps can be taken for further improvement", chaired by Mr. Witold Grzybowski from Collect Consulting. Mr. Grzybowski was joined by panellists Mr. Jozef Badecki from PPP Investors Club in Poland, Mr. Mick Mullay, PPP Development Programme Ukraine and Mr. Dmitry Kovalev, Partner, PwC in Russia. The panel addressed institutional framework  and possible steps that could be taken for further improvements concentrated on certain negative institutional changes including closure of PPP units in Czech Republic  and  Hungary, while showing weak activity of remaining national support units.  The important conclusion was formed, that the cycle of appearing and weakening political negatively affects capacity of governments to act and develop PPP policies and programme initiatives.  

Dan Cocker , a partner with Allen & Overy  projected comprehensive findings  addressing risk allocation in PPP Projects and explained some factors that are necessary to obtain  balanced risk distribution with important link between risk and reward scenario. It could be concluded that applying certain risk distribution matrix that has been tested by the market in numerous PPP transaction can guarantee advantage to both public and the private sector alike. The issue of stepping-in rights and its practical use was also considered alongside local differences in project design and implementation that prove lack of universal best project scenario in the face of local conditions.

The private sector’s views on development challenges in CEE was presented by Klaus Kathmann, Head of Structured Finance, Strabag Infrastructure Development.  Mr Kathmann underlined in his global overview key factors determining  economic structural changes resulting from new emerging economies and the situation of financial markets, where the single project as opposed to the national programme were of little interest to market players. The formal  aspect on documentation completeness and project professional preparation as success factors were rightly underlined.


The session was summarised by the panel discussion, focusing on why PPP projects fail and what is the stumbling block in project delivery. This was  chaired by Ms. Agnieszka Gajewska from Infralinx Capital, and joined by Ms. Magdalena Jaworska, General Directorate for Roads & Motorways Poland, Mr. Klaus Kathmann, Strabag and Mr. Kamil Jankielewicz from Allen & Overy.  The panellists followed on the conclusions of  Mr Kathmann  which were discussed by the Director of The Polish GDDKiA Mrs Magdalena Jaworska.  On or off public sector finance balance appears to be a decisive factor in  using PPP in Poland. Under the current fiscal and debt limiting constrains this seems to be and will remain a decisive factor.  The panel did not reach conclusions but fascinating discussion was opened on the subject.


After the lunch break the conference resumed with the Environmental Infrastructure session, with the first presentation being delivered by our Silver Sponsor Mott MacDonald. Mott MacDonald representative Mrs Anna Magdalena Ogrodowczyk, who is Waste Management Specialist shared her technical adviser team experience with the only Polish Hybrid PPP project in communal waste sector. Mr Krzysztof Hoiñca was also taking part in this interesting presentation where the time table of a large infrastructure project was shown and explained indicating that the public authority electoral cycle and project preparation cycle do not coincide and political continuity and determination are critical factors in the project success. Numerous technical and organisational issues were explained making this one a very practical workshop experience.

The Poznan case was continued by Stephane Heddesheimer,  COO, Sita Polska Sp. z o.o.  who was the bid are in the process of fulfilling their PPP  contractual obligations as a private partner. Mr Heddesheimer underlined key conditions for PPP projects to attract interest from reputable investors-operators as well as exceptions from the rule in the Poznan contract, that was granted the financial closure before the Sita offer was selected. The integrated approach of PPP project delivery  in the Poznan case revealed complexity and uncertainty of hybrid financing,  problems with ensuring right input against stringent contractual obligations.


The subsequent panel, discussing challenges and obstacles facing the environmental infrastructure projects and the lessons learnt from the Poznan WtE experience were chaired by Mr. Kamil Jankielewicz from Allen & Overy. As a specialist in energy and environmental law, he managed to steer the discussion towards the issues of project sustainability against barriers in the current economic, legislative and political environment. The panel confirmed earlier conclusions about necessity to engage central authority in problem solving process including necessary changes in the current legislation.The panel was joined by Mr. Krzystof Hoinca, Mott MacDonald, Ms. Dominika Nowosinska, FBSerwis S.A., Mr. Stephane Heddesheimer, Sita Polska Sp. z.o.o. and Mr. Lukasz Dziekonski, Marguerite 2020 Fund Poland. 


After the networking coffee break, the conference proceeded with the last session of the day, which focussed on the opportunities in selected countries within CEE, including Russia, Lithuania and Ukraine. 

Overview of Russia was presented by Mr Nikolay Meleshko Head of Nonfinancial Support Division of Vnesheconombank .  Mr Meleshko very professionally outlined Russian Federal Law framework and projected structural  breakdown  of  concession projects that were concluded in Russian Federation. It was obvious that (as Mr Filip Drapak expressed earlier) in Russian Federation regional and local initiative in implementing concession and PPP solution was much more visible than these of central government.

Jonas Kimontas of Lithuanian government agency “Lithuania Invest” that provides free advice and introductions to on the ground experts to global companies interested in doing business in Lithuania. In his comprehensive review Mr Kimontas underlined systematic and clearly structured approach of the Lithuania government to PPP. Examples of selected projects shown determination of the government to incorporate PPP as one of the public sector development tools.

The closing presentation on Ukraine delivered with zeal  and charisma by Prof. Adam Prokopowicz, representing Ukrainian PPP Development Support Center in Ukraine.  It was obvious that the political, economic and organisational conditions in Ukraine do not meet international requirements for a long term commitment and it was clearly underlined by Prof. Prokopowicz, that Ukraine needs assistance and support to embark on the normalisation process before international finance and technical expertise can access this large and dynamic market.


  The 1st day of the Forum was chaired by Mr Witold Grzybowski, Partner at Collect Consulting S.A.


The conference proceeded with day 2, which was opened by the chairman Prof. Adam Prokopowicz from Center for Analysis in Transport and Infrastructure (CATI) and Infratrans Group. 

The first session of day 2 began with a presentation by Mr. Eugenio Leanza from the European Investment Bank , who presented on Enhancing the impact of EU Structural Funds through well-designed financial instruments. Mr. Leanza emphasised the need for sustainable urban impact investing, through financial instruments and focused strategy for value creation in cities. 

The following panel discussion focused on exploring new ways to raise capital, including the role of the multilaterals and government infrastructure banks in supporting PPPs, debt capital in infrastructure and trends in large pension and insurance funds investments. The panel was chaired by Ms. Agnieszka Gajewska, Infralinx Capital and joined by Mr. Eugenio Leanza, EIB, Mr. Stephane Duhr, Barclays Infrastructure Fund, Mr. Jan Dziekanski, BGK Poland, Ms. Agnieszka Szymczyk, EBRD and Mr. Florent del Picchia, Aviva Investors. 


After the networking coffee break, the conference resumed with presentations on smart cities and energy efficiency. The first presentation was delivered by Dr. Rafal Cieslak from KDG Poland, presenting on Termodernisation of public buildings in the Mazovia region.

Afterwards, Mr. Pedro Gomez Lopez from FBSerwis S.A. Poland discussed Energy efficiency in street and urban infrastructure.


The conference proceeded to the Transport Infrastructure session, with the first presentation being delivered by Ms. Swallow Sui from URS Infrastructure & Environment, discussing risk and challenges in PPP Infrastructure projects from a technical advisor's perspective. 

Mr. Pavel Prikyl from Grant Thornton Advisory in Czech Republic presented on successful PPPs in the public sector, reflecting on the case study of vehicles maintenance outsourcing in the city of Pilsen. 

The last presentation before the panel was presented by Ms. Anna Dabrowska. CEO of the Center for Analyses in Transport and Infrastructure (CATI). The focus of Ms. Dabrowska's presentation was on the experience in usage of EU funds in 2007-2013 and their impact on options for future innovative rail projects. 

The Transport panel discussion focused on key obstacles facing transport infrastructure developments in the region, and project bankability, assessing whether PPP is a viable option. 

Prof. Adam Prokopowicz , CATI/Infratrans Group chaired the session, and was joined by Mr. Tony Stratfold, Intertoll, Mr. Kastytis Grigas, Lithuanian Road Administration, Mr. Manuel Cary, TIIC, Mr. Igor Snopek, Skanska and Mr. Pavel Prikyl, Grant Thornton Advisory. 


The conference moved promptly to the final session of the conference, focusing on social infrastructure within the region. The first presentation in this session was delivered by Mr. Philippe Rapin from Mott MacDonald. Mr. Rapin presented on developments in social infrastructure PPP around the world. 

The presentation was followed by an interesting case study of a successful pilot PPP project in student accommodation at the Jagiellonian University in Poland. Mr. Marcin Jedrychowski from the University presented on this case study, providing a perspective from the public sector.

The last panel of the day was chaired by Mr. Rafal Cieslak from KDG Poland, and joined by Mr. Stephane Duhr, Barclays Infrastructure Fund, Mr. Philippe Rapin, Mott MacDonald, Mr. Dmitry Kabrelyan, PwC Russia and Ms. Agnieszka Gajewska, Infralinx Capital. The panel focused on the stumbling block in PPP project delivery, how to attract private investors, what makes a suitable social PPP project and solutions for healthcare facilities, education and commercial developments. 

The participants concluded, at the Chairman’s suggestion, that a summary of major professional findings and conclusions from the conference should be prepared.  A conference summary committee will provide a draft of such a summary within a month. 

The event closed with a lunch, where delegates and speakers had a final opportunity to network and exchange information. 


E.E.L Events Ltd would like to once again thank the Silver Sponsors Mott MacDonald, FBSerwis and Allen & Overy, as along with our Associate Sponsor RBConsult. We would also like to thank our partners CATI, UKTI, BPCC and IPFA,  as well as our media partners, delegates and speakers for a fantastic and successful conference. We are looking forward to welcoming you to the  4th edition of CEE PPP & Infrastructure conference next year, where we continue our dedication to promoting PPP developments in Central Eastern Europe. 

If you are interested in accessing the conference materials, then please complete and return the necessary order form. 

We look forward to welcoming you back at an EEL Event soon.


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