Graham introduces MAP
By Adam FreillConstruction Financing Infrastructure
Financing and delivery framework targets municipal infrastructure projects.
Employee-owned construction solutions partner Graham has introduced its Municipal Asset Partnership (MAP), an innovative financing and delivery framework designed to help municipalities deliver essential rate-based infrastructure projects quickly and efficiently, while retaining control of the asset. The company says that MAP is ideal for water and wastewater infrastructure projects.
Fully customizable for any size of municipality and almost any project, MAP is a legal, financial and accounting framework underpinned by a 50-50 partnership. This allows projects to be developed, financed and delivered with the municipality retaining full control of the entire process.
Ideal for projects with a construction and financing component, the framework can also be extended to address front-end design requirements and long-term operations and maintenance services.
An alternative to typical private partnership arrangements, MAP can be structured for projects as small as $20 million and scaled up to accommodate larger projects of any size.
A recent example of the framework in action is underway in the City of Wetaskiwin, due south of Edmonton. The municipality secured financing for the construction of its new wastewater treatment plant, due for completion in December 2023, under Graham’s MAP framework.
Through the partnership, the City of Wetaskiwin and Graham have reduced the financial burden of the project through cost-efficient private financing, combined with a $12.9 million Alberta Provincial Grant, to fund the $53 million project. With project development complete and financing secured, construction is set to commence May 2022.
“With regulatory requirements around wastewater treatment facilities becoming more stringent, we had to be innovative to cover the cost of the mandated wastewater treatment plant upgrade with the grant funding we had available,” explains Sue Howard, Wetaskiwin’s city manager. “Graham’s new approach allowed us to secure all the financing we needed while ensuring financial flexibility remained for other municipal priorities. Additionally, we have an active role in the entire process as an equal partner.”
The wastewater treatment plant has a planned completion date of December 2023.