STRUCTURED PROJECT FINANCE FOR PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS IN THE U.S.: AN ENHANCED APPROACH TO BETTER ACHIEVE FINANCIAL AND POLICY OBJECTIVES
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As existing U.S. infrastructure ages, government entities are looking to the private sector and to alternative financing mechanisms, such as project finance, to help leverage traditional funding sources and pay for the increasing needs. As a result, the use of Public-Private Partnership (P3) delivery method in the U.S. has increased over the last two decades. The question is how the existing cases can be used to potentially enhance the current P3 model both in terms of bankability and overall procurement process maturity. This study is organized into three main parts. In the first section, project finance in general and the role of different credit enhancements in structured project finance in particular have been. In the second section, a QCA analysis has been perfumed to study and compare 18 P3 projects that have been procured in the U.S. over the last two decades. The goal is to identify logical patterns between project characteristics (i.e. capital value, term of contract, construction risk, traffic and revenue risk, and procurement competition level) and financial characteristics (i.e. equity IRR, interest rate on debt and leverage). The results are further analyzed to refine conclusions that to can provide a better understanding of how financing package of P3 projects may change based on project characteristics and policy objectives. In the third section, an enhanced P3 model has been proposed by using crowdfunding. A SWOT analysis has been conducted to explain how the proposed approach can improve current P3 model. The findings of this study can help P3 practitioners to better utilize available tools and also provides them with new tools to further enhance procurement of P3 projects. The case library provides a significant resource to practitioners as well as researchers and the proposed corwdfunding approach is a novel step toward taking P3 projects to a new maturity level.