VEB.RF to Select Pilot Projects by Year-End for IRIIS Implementation
The first IRIIS-verified project is the construction of the Ufa East Exit on the M-5 Ural federal highway
MOSCOW, 29 September. /TASS/. VEB.RF has completed the assessment of two first projects in Russia’s national infrastructure project assessment system (IRIIS). The pilot group of projects is to be formed by the end of 2021 to bring the system into operation, according to VEB.RF’s Deputy Chairperson and Member of the Management Board Svetlana Yachevskaya.
IRIIS is under development by VEB.RF, the National PPP Development Center (part of the VEB.RF Group) and AECOM with support from the Russian Ministry of Finance and is designed to assist with the introduction of the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment. IRIIS is to help Russian and foreign investors to assess risks and opportunities in Russian-based projects.
“We expect projects totalling at least 1.5 trillion roubles in different industries will go through IRIIS in the next five years. We can see it’s important for regional and municipal authorities to have quality assessment tools and criteria to decide on support for really feasible project proposals with minimal risks. At the very start of a project, IRIIS makes it possible to set up the project management model correctly and effectively and give due consideration to all possible factors: economic, social and environmental,” Svetlana Yachevskaya said.
IRIIS has attracted the interest of both project initiators and regional authorities. The key aspects of the methodology are Economy and Governance, Quality of Life, Environment and Climate, she added.
The first IRIIS-verified project is the construction of the Ufa East Exit on the M-5 Ural federal highway. This is a 25-year concession in the Republic of Bashkortostan with investments totalling about 40 billion roubles. A syndicate of VEB.RF and VTB is financing the project through the Project Financing Factory. Another pilot project is carried out by Russian Railways to build a railway to the Kaluga special economic zone in the Kaluga Region, according to VEB.RF.
IRIIS, Russia’s national infrastructure project assessment and certification system developed by VEB.RF, the National PPP Development Center and AECOM with support from the Russian Ministry of Finance, has become one of the criteria of the government-approved taxonomy for sustainable projects.
The Russian Government approved the system of criteria (taxonomy) for sustainable (including green) projects and the verification requirements for these projects in Russia. The document is aimed at promoting investment and encouraging private funding for projects that contribute towards the national development goals.
The taxonomy for adaptational projects in the Sustainable Infrastructure area is to include building and modernising green infrastructure facilities. Evidence of compliance with the sustainability criteria will be successful IRIIS assessment. Specifically, the Environment and Climate aspect requires that a project should meet at least 55% of the criteria.
IRIIS is part of efforts to introduce the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment into Russia. IRIIS went into test operation in 2021 on projects in different infrastructural areas. One of the tested projects is the Ufa East Exit on the M-5 Ural federal highway, which was granted the “Gold” level of attainment. Several more projects are in the pipeline, including building a railway to the Kaluga special economic zone under a concession agreement between Russian Railways and the Kaluga Region. IRIIS is scheduled to become fully operational in late 2021.
Svetlana Yachevskaya, Deputy Chairperson and Member of the Management Board, VEB.RF:
“The fact that IRIIS was included in the taxonomy for adaptational projects is an important strategic step in creating sustainable infrastructure in this country. The pilot projects show how it is important to have independent, efficient due diligence. Approved on federal level, the [IRIIS] system will make it possible to promote best practices in project preparation and implementation and will allow project participants to get more favourable terms of financing.”