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Gtc Official Named To Uk Task Force On Public-private Finance

January 7, 1999 The president of the management board of Gdansk Transport Company S. A. (GTC), a consortium of Polish and international groups seeking to build one of the country's first privatized tollroads, has been selected to join a high-level government task force in the United Kingdom to help structure new public-private financing vehicles.Alan Mawdsley, managing director of Bechtel Enterprises in London, has served in the top GTC position since 1997. GTC has been granted a concession to build, develop, and operate a new four-lane highway between Gdansk and Torun as the first tolled section of the A-1 Motorway. GTC is continuing to negotiate the terms of a concession agreement with the Motorway Agency within the Polish government that will enable GTC to finalize its financing plan and start construction next year.

"The United Kingdom government has been a world leader in mobilizing private sector capital for infrastructure and other projects through its Private Finance Initiative," said Mawdsley. "The Treasury Task Force is now seeking reinforcement from the private sector in developing new public-private financing vehicles, and in monitoring the government's new capital spending programs. I look forward to contributing to this effort."
"One reason public-private financing has succeeded in the UK is that the highest levels of government have been committed to the concept of mobilizing private capital for traditional government services," Mawdsley continued. "The political will is essential if such programs are to succeed."
Mawdsley will be replaced at GTC by John Malarkey, vice president of Bechtel Enterprises in London and currently the finance director at GTC. Malarkey's experience on major European infrastructure projects includes the Channel Tunnel between England and France--a job for which Bechtel provided the project chief executive and a senior management team. Bechtel, a world leader in developing, financing, designing, building, and operating major infrastructure projects, has built a reputation for making complex projects a reality.

"The development of a motorway network in Poland is crucial to its achieving full commercial benefit of participation in the European Union," Malarkey said. "The Polish government deserves credit for its vision in creating the financial and legal structures to enable the private sector to participate in--and accelerate--this development. In some cases those structures must become more flexible to meet the requirements of international lenders. GTC's partners, who have a successful record on similar projects around the world, are working with the government to establish that flexibility."

"Both the government and GTC clearly recognize the A-1's potential benefits, and are committed to reaching an equitable agreement," Malarkey continued. "I am hopeful that by this spring we will be able to agree on a framework for a partnership that will optimize the roles of the public and private sectors, serve as a model for future infrastructure projects in Poland, and stimulate the flow of private sector funds to Poland to finance other critically needed infrastructure."

The European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and a number of international and Polish lenders have expressed interest in funding the A-1 project once a bankable concession agreement is struck between the government of Poland and GTC.
Construction of the 152-kilometer motorway will provide a strategic commercial link between the seaports of Gdansk and Gdynia, the Trans-European Motorway network and, ultimately, the southern industrial centers. The north-south transportation corridor will allow for the efficient movement of goods and people, stimulate regional development, create new trade and investment opportunities throughout the country, and provide significant employment and job training opportunities in the construction and operational phases.

The A-1 Motorway is considered a critical component of Poland's continued economic development. More than a transportation corridor, it is the strategic underpinning to Poland's plan to stimulate regional and national economic growth through partnerships between the public and private sectors. GTC is the first such partnership.

Bechtel, founded in 1898, has been involved in such notable projects as the new Hong Kong international airport; the Athens, Greece, metropolitan rail project; and an entire industrial city in Saudi Arabia. The firm currently has some 36,000 direct and joint-venture employees at work on more than 1,000 jobs in 63 countries.

A leader in major European transportation projects, Bechtel recently completed construction of a 229-kilometer link in the Trans-Turkish Motorway, and is now working on a 120-kilometer motorway in Croatia, as well as the multi-billion-dollar Channel Tunnel Rail Link in the United Kingdom.