The process to justify large-scale infrastructural projects is a painstaking effort in balancing audience demands, technical efficiency, financial feasibility and economic soundness. This is only reasonable, considering the multiple stakeholders involved and the huge impact these projects have on public resources.
An application for a Major Project – a large-scale infrastructure project with an eligible cost of at least EUR50 million, financed from the European Regional Development Fund or the Cohesion Fund – involves the coordination of expertise from different fields, including engineering, architecture, environment, legal, financial and economics.
In this course we revisit the entire process carried out in the preparation of a Major Project application for the main water utility supplier in Malta. We analyse all the steps involved, the discussions with the various stakeholders – including JASPERS – all the stages of the cost-benefit analysis, and the actual writing of the application form itself.
Preparing for a major project proposal is no simple feat, as the stories recounted directly by the person who coordinated the whole process – Mr Ray Bartolo – will show.
i. Discussing the EC Guide to CBA and the regulatory requirements of the 2014-20 Cohesion Policy, giving a general perspective on CBA and its role in EU-funded operations;
ii. Looking into the whole major project application process and providing insight into the role of JASPERS as beneficiaries prepare a major project submission.
iii. Outlining the methodologies in arriving at a realistic demand estimate;
iv. Learning to identify and articulate the problem at hand before listing the technical options available;
v. Discussing the value of Environmental Impact Assessments, Strategic Environmental Assessments, Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments and other studies;
vi. Studying the methods available to calculate the most important financial and economic performance indicators of the project and its alternative options;
vii. Explaining the methods used to perform a sensitivity and risk assessment of a project.
viii. Interpreting the indicators to determine a project’s financial and economic feasibility.
Managing Authorities, First Level of Control Bodies, Intermediate Bodies, Certifying Authorities, Audit Authorities, Central Coordination Authorities, Central or Regional Ministries, Finance Officers, Auditors, Methodology Departments, Officers applying for or managing large infrastructural projects
Delivering knowledge, experience and good feelings!
Our Plan for the three days
Registration and distribution of training material
Introduction – Setting the objectives and expected outcomes
Feasibility studies & CBAs: why do we need them? The seminar kicks off with a discussion on the EC Guide to CBA and the regulatory requirements of the 2014-20 Cohesion Policy, giving a general perspective on CBA and its role in EU-funded operations.
Introducing the case study: Major Project – Water Infrastructure in Malta A general overview of the main case study of this seminar which will focus on the planning and studies conducted by the water utility supplier in Malta in preparation for a major project under OP1 of the Cohesion Policy 2014-20 for Malta. All sessions will be making ongoing references to this case.
Major Project #1: Context Analysis The first step of a CBA or feasibility analysis is to describe the context of the EU, the Member State and the region, outlining the prevailing socio-economic and political environment where the investment is planned.
Major Project #2: Demand Analysis What are the needs, who needs them, by how much, by when? Demand analysis seeks to understand the nature and extent of the demand. Here we ouline the methodologies used in arriving at a realistic estimate.
Major Project #3: Problem Identification Identifying and articulating the problem at hand is crucial before listing the technical options available. This session shows how the parties around the table of discussion were sometimes at odds in their views of the cause of the problems.
Major Project #4: Technical Options Analysis Having identified the problem, the decision-makers face the task of listing down the technical solutions available, understanding their rationale and feasibility in the context, and shortlisting those options for further study.
Concluding remarks and wrap-up of Day 1
Major Project #5: Environmental Impact Considerations and Climate Change Vulnerability The solutions may be technically sound and also financially feasible. But if their installation is invasive and harmful to the environment and climate, they will be shelved. The value of Envonmental Impact Assessments, Strategic Envonmental Assessments, and other studies are discussed here.
Major Project #6: State Aid Just like the rules of any sport, competition rules in the European Union strive to maintain a level playing field between economic operators. To what level can we tilt this field and still be considered fair? This session introduces state aid and seeks to understand how the European Commission uses different state aid regimes to strike the point of equity.
Major Project #7: Financial Analysis Having considered the technical elements of the project, the next step is to calculate the future financial costs and benefits of the alternative investment and operations. We will take the time to understand and absorb the process through practical examples and calculations.
Major Project #8: Economic Analysis A public investment seeks the common economic and social good. Here we translate the financial analysis into an economic one, again through a simplified, practical approach.
Major Project #9: Sensitivity and Risk Analysis Feasibility and cost-benefit analysis are based on estimates and assumptions. In this step we test the sensitivity of the shortlisted technical options to the different economic scenarios and changes in the critical variables. This concludes the CBA process.
Concluding remarks and wrap-up of Day 2
Filling in the Major Project Application Form Filling in an application for a Major Project is a thorough exercise involving the concerted efforts of several stakeholders. This sessions looks into the whole process and shares invaluable knowledge and experience from the water utility case.
JASPERS assistance and the Independent quality review This session provides an insight into the role of JASPERS (Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions) as Malta prepared its major project submission.
Major Projects in 2021-2027 We close of the seminar with a discussion on the proposals of the EC in relation to Major Projects and the reaction of other stakeholders (incl ECA, EP, Council) to such proposals.
Concluding remarks and distribution of certificates
2022 Training Programme