From Madrid to Istanbul

Mar 20, 2017

Hill International cut its teeth on international public-private partnerships in Spain, and is now using that experience to excel in Turkey.

By Richard Massey Managing Editor

As the massive healthcare buildout in Turkey continues, Hill International (Hot Firm #31 for 2016) finds itself in a familiar position – out front and thriving in a public-private partnership.

Using lessons it learned working in the healthcare industry in Spain, where the public-private model is more prevalent, Hill transitioned into important contracts in Turkey, where the public-private model is still relatively new.

The powerhouse firm inked two contracts last year with MR, a joint venture company of Meridiam, and Rönesans Healthcare Investment. The affiliated projects are the Yozgat City Hospital, a 475-bed facility, and the Adana Integrated Health Campus, with 1,550 beds.

“Our focus is on quality monitoring and verification services,” says Serdar Gucar, managing director of Turkey and CIS for Hill International. “We have full-time people on site for each of the projects and they are all coordinated by our project director from Istanbul. We also provide part-time expert assistance from our colleagues in Spain, who have dealt with many PPP model projects there.”

The sharing and transfer of home-grown experience from Hill’s Madrid office to its counterparts in Istanbul is not the first, nor will it be the last, for the company. The benefits of such efforts will come to bear as Hill targets growth in certain key sectors globally, with healthcare and building projects under the PPP model being two of them.

Availability-based social PPP projects are new in Turkey and there is little local experience with regards to long-term key issues, especially the operational side of such complex projects, says Martin Murphy, a director at Hill’s office in Madrid. In Spain, Hill has worked on many projects developed under a similar setup as those in Turkey, like long-term, 25-plus years of concession contracts with transfer of construction and availability risks from the public to the private sector.

Hill’s foray into Turkey takes place against the backdrop of the firm’s long-standing relationship with the Madrid Regional Health System, with the company being awarded a contract to provide operational monitoring services for 11 hospitals throughout the region of Madrid. There, Hill supports hospitals with a methodology for the administration and monitoring of concession contracts under the PPP schemes, in both the construction and operational phases of a project. The experience positioned the company as a premier consultant for this type of service within the industry, and that experience comes in handy in Turkey.

The role of Hill Spain will be to focus on the identification of key issues regarding project commissioning and start up, which could generate risk either on the correct operation of the hospital, or on the delivery of services transferred to the concessionaire company. A team from Spain is expected to visit the Turkey site once a month.

“Our client wishes to transfer some of the lessons learned in other more mature markets with similar PPP models and requested that this knowledge transfer come from Hill’s team in Spain,” Murphy says. “What we have provided is also a layer of support and added value to the technical QA/QC function provided by Hill Turkey.”

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