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Dublin company eyes PPPs with new Nairobi unit

construction site
Workers at a construction site in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya’s policy emphasis on public-private partnerships (PPPs) has drawn Ireland’s largest construction company, Designer Group, to open an office in Nairobi.

The Irish engineering solutions company said its fully-owned subsidiary will oversee ongoing projects worth Sh1.46 billion set for completion by year-end, as well as execution of new ones worth Sh2.8 billion starting next year in Kenya and Uganda.

Designer Group — which partners with local construction companies when bidding for engineer, procure and construct (EPC) contract jobs — handles utility, infrastructure, industrial and sustainable energy projects. It says it has secured 80 percent of funding for the projects.

Visiting Irish Business, Enterprise and Innovation minister Heather Humphreys pitched for joint venture partnerships, saying they presented a good opportunity for Kenyan and Irish companies to trade.

“Irish companies are innovative and trusted partners; that is the ‘Irish Advantage’ we bring to Kenya where more Irish companies will invest, grow and partner here,” he said.

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The minister spoke in Nairobi when he led a trade delegation of 40 Dublin executives eyeing investment opportunities in Kenya.

Designer Group said it will closely work with local contractors across the value chain, thereby creating a platform for knowledge transfer and up-skilling over the coming 12 months.

The firm has operations in Ireland, the UK, Germany, Africa and the United States.

The PPP project delivery model eases reliance on debt for execution of public projects in favour of the EPC model where the projects are run by special purpose vehicles.

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