Garney’s public-private partnership (P3) business strategy continues to advance with the addition of David Bird as vice president of project finance and development. David will focus on growing Garney’s existing development pipeline of P3 water projects in North America.
Now with project finance and development capabilities, Garney can offer clients the entire spectrum of P3 capabilities through its own resources and those of its strategic partners to deliver water projects—from development to design, construction, operations, maintenance, and financing.
Climate change is driving the need for public water projects, including more creative projects involving reuse, regenerative farming, water banking, the use of currently non-potable water, and more efficiently treating solids in wastewater to reduce greenhouse gases. At the same time, there are public constraints in completing these projects—lack of upfront funds, low tolerance for risk, and little to no development staff at water agencies.
“Given that we’re solely focused on water, with several successful projects under our belt, and now the added expertise of financing, we’re uniquely positioned as the only construction firm in the water sector to provide an end-to-end offering,” said Garney CEO Mike Heitmann. Unlike most large concessionaires and contractors, Garney self-performs most of its work, making it a leaner organization while still maintaining the skills to help customers secure financing to successfully fund water projects, particularly large, complex projects.
Garney has completed more than $1.1 billion in P3 water projects since 2011, with numerous public-private projects currently in development. The award-winning Vista Ridge Water Supply project, the largest P3 water project in North American history, is an example. The new infrastructure expands San Antonio’s water supply by 20 percent. David Bird served as financial advisor to the Vista Ridge project.
The Garney P3 strategy is to partner with water rights holders, technology providers, water developers, and private equity to bring tailor-made projects to public and private sector clients, reducing their development risk. With the new financing services and the addition of David Bird to the Garney team, Garney is now a one-stop resource that brings seamless efficiency to every stage of a P3 project.
David joins Garney from Societe Generale, where he was a managing director focused on infrastructure finance and advisory. He spent the last 15 years raising debt and equity capital for infrastructure projects in a variety of sectors, including water, roads, ports, airports, and digital infrastructure. Through this work, David forged relationships with lending institutions, equity providers, developers, and rating agencies, which he now leverages on behalf of Garney clients to help them realize successful projects.