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Framework for Municipal Services Sector Project Preparation in the EBRD Advanced Transition Countries



Business sector:

Municipal and environmental infrastructure

Funding source:

EBRD - Slovak Republic TC Fund

Contract type:

Consultancy Services

Notice type:

Invitation for expressions of interest (CSU)

Issue date:

16 Oct 2015

Closing date:

05 Nov 2015   at  23:59   London

Access eSelection

The Procurement Notice has been modified on 20 October and on 30 October 2015 - please see the text in bold below.
Programme Description:

The financing of municipal infrastructure remains a high priority for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development ("EBRD" or the "Bank") in its advanced transition countries of operation that include Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia (the "Advanced Transition Countries") on the basis that municipal infrastructure is a key factor for economic competitiveness and quality of life. For example, it has been shown that a one per cent increase in infrastructure investment increases GDP by 0.07 per cent.

While private sector and public private partnerships remain the preferred route of engagement, working with the public sector is still an option. However, the preparation, implementation and monitoring of municipal infrastructure investments is a labour intensive endeavour in the Advanced Transition Countries. A lack of financing is not the only challenge with EU Structural Funds available and banks willing to lend. Instead it is the borrowing capacity of the municipalities and the ability to draw down funds available.

In this context, the EBRD along with other municipal / state agencies, and some International Financial Institutions intend to finance from 5 to 10 projects in the municipal services sector in the Baltic States, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia. These projects will be implemented in medium and large cities and would typically involve loans and grants to municipal enterprises, wholly owned by the respective cities or regional governments, though other structures notably sovereign or corporate can be considered. The investment size for each project is expected to be between EUR 5 and 160 million, though smaller or larger projects may be undertaken in specific circumstances.

The investment projects contemplated (generically, the "Project") involve financing of improvement measures to existing infrastructure with a view to improving services, reducing energy consumption and other operating costs, and encouraging commercialisation and institutional reform.

Each Project would contain financing of some of the following investment components (without limitation):

- Water supply and wastewater treatment

- Solid waste management

- District heating improvement

- Public transportation including buses, trams metros, traffic management systems and road rehabilitation

- Municipal street lighting energy efficiency

- heat and power cogeneration configurations, including mini CHPs

- Introduction of biomass/waste plants

- Development of solutions for demand-side efficiency in municipal and residential buildings, including advanced metering and control and improved thermal insulation

Prospective beneficiaries are expected to be municipal enterprises (generically, the "Company"), wholly owned by a respective city or region (generically, the "City"), although sovereign or corporate financing structures can also be considered.

In order to provide the EBRD with a base to take an informed decision on financing, it is required that a comprehensive Feasibility Study be carried out according to international practice, to determine a priority investment programme ("PIP") developed from a long-term investment strategy, and evaluate the project’s benefits, including assessing its environmental and social benefits.

Framework Agreements for the Programme

The Bank intends to select up to three consultants and enter into Framework Agreements with them (the "Framework Consultant" or the "Consultant") to enable the Bank to call upon a shortlist of pre-qualified firms from which it can prominently and efficiently obtain reliable services. The Framework Agreement will establish, in advance, fee rates for experts, contract terms and conditions, and procedures that will govern the Specific Assignments that are required to implement the Programme. Under these Framework Agreements, the Bank will have the option, but not the obligation, to place individual Assignments with the selected Framework Consultants.

Framework Consultants will be selected for the Specific Assignments in accordance with EBRD's Procurement Policies and Rules (PP&R). The Bank may send to the Framework Consultant(s) Terms of Reference for the Specific Assignment. The Terms of Reference will include a description of the tasks to be performed, time-schedules and reporting instructions. The Framework Consultant(s) will respond by sending to the Bank a technical and financial proposal for the Specific Assignment together with details of the expert(s) proposed to carry out the work. The Bank will then assess the response(s) and – subject to successful negotiations - issue a call-off notice for Specific Assignment to the selected Framework Consultant.

Description of Specific Assignments

The overall objective of any Specific Assignment is to prepare a Feasibility Study for the Company and/or the City which the Bank can use to appraise the Project and take a decision on the prospective financing.

The key objective of a Feasibility Study would normally be:

  • to prepare a comprehensive Feasibility Study which can be used by the EBRD and co-financiers to assess the Project and justify involvement;
  • to develop an affordable, least cost strategic investment programme in a long-term perspective (15-20 years) according to best applicable technology;
  • to identify and assess a detailed PIP, suitable for a Project to be partially financed by the IFI(s) loan, including its technical feasibility and justification of its high priority in terms of internal rate of return;
  • to define a bankable Project and identify probable sources and uses of funds, assuming the proposed loan in the amount provided in the Call-off;
  • to calculate the Bank's standard measuring indicators and SRI impact indicators;
  • once the Project/PIP has been confirmed, to screen the Project against the EBRD's Environmental and Social Policy (2014, ESP) and associated Performance Requirements (PRs) to propose, and agree with the EBRD, the project category (A or B) and confirm the environmental and social due diligence required;
  • if the Project is categorised as B (once agreed with the EBRD), to carry out the Environmental and Social Assessment (E&S Due Diligence – ESDD) of the proposed project to identify its environmental and social risks, impacts and benefits and to structure the Project to comply with the Bank's Environmental and Social Policy ("ESP") and Procurement Policies and Rules ("PRs"). If the Project is categorised as A, this terms of reference will be revised by the EBRD;
  • to prepare an affordability analysis of various consumer groups including the analysis of existing social support mechanism to ensure the sustainability and affordability of the Project; in this respect, the Study should clearly assess the impact on affordability of demand-side energy efficiency projects compared to optimisations on the supply side;
  • prepare financial analysis of the Company and financial projections; the projections shall be fully consistent with the strategic development plan and be based on prudent assumptions on Company revenues and expenditures. Financial projections shall include annual balance sheets, income, cash flow statements and usual sensitivity analysis;
  • to prepare a municipal credit analysis of the relevant city budget;
  • to propose an appropriate fare/tariff system based on partial or full cost recovery as targets, and interim solutions if necessary;
  • to prepare a Procurement and Implementation Strategy including detailed plans for the contracting, financing and implementation of the Project;
  • to outline an institutional framework for provision of the relevant services in the City, including principles for a new or revised Service Agreement between the City and the Company covering service standards, responsibilities of the City and the Company, rights and obligations of the Customers, etc.;
  • to determine an efficient implementation strategy for the Project, taking into consideration procurement requirements of the EBRD and co-financer and local law;
  • to identify key cost restructuring elements (e.g. labour restructuring, energy cost savings, maintenance per unit of output targets, etc.) and recommend reasonable loan covenants and implementation timing in this area;
  • to the extent possible, the FS should take into account the potential impacts of climate change on the project in order to build in resilience to climate change related risks.

Programme Start Date and Duration: The assignment is expected to start in February 2016. The selected Consultants will be engaged via Framework Agreements with a validity period of up to two years.

Cost Estimate for the Overall Assignment: EUR 1,000,000 (exclusive of VAT). The cost of Specific Assignments will vary depending on their specific scope, but individual budgets are expected to be up to EUR 200,000 (exclusive of VAT).

The Consultant must determine whether any VAT would be chargeable on the services and the basis for that determination, without taking into consideration the special status of the Bank as an IFI and state this to the Bank in their response to the Invitation for Expressions of Interest. To the extent that a Consultant incurs input VAT on goods and services purchased in connection with the provision of services (e.g. VAT on airline ticket) which is not otherwise recoverable by the consultant from the local tax authority, the gross cost to the consultant of such expenses shall be treated as a reimbursable expense.

Funding Source: EBRD-Slovak Republic TC Fund

Eligibility: Consultancy firms shall be registered in the Slovak Republic and all experts proposed must be either Slovak nationals or permanent residents of the Slovak Republic. However, up to a maximum of 30% of each Specific Assignment may be used to finance services of other nationalities including experts who are nationals of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia and firms which are registered in these or other countries. Selection and final contracting of consultants will be subject to availability of funding from the donor.

Framework Consultant Profile:
Corporate services are required. The consultant will be a firm or a group of firms with background in the key municipal infrastructure sectors in advanced transition countries, a broad knowledge of international best practices in the sectors, and of a variety of institutional, contractual, operational, technical and financial options. The consultant should ensure that the appropriately qualified experts are available, as required, for each of the different tasks outlined above.

It is expected that the assignment will be led by an appropriately qualified team leader/sector specialist, accompanied by both key and supporting experts. Based on the fields of expertise and the tasks mentioned above, it is proposed that the team of the consultant should consist at least of the following international and local experts:
- Project Manager/Team Leader with a university degree or equivalent qualification with preferably 15 years professional experience, with comprehensive experience of similar assignments in the region of the assignment, as well as in institutional and commercial management of a municipal company. He/she should demonstrate management and administration experience, including experience with procedures of international financing agencies (preferably EBRD procedures).

- Financial specialists with knowledge of the public financing and modelling.

- Technical specialists and engineers.

- Environmental and Social Experts with experience in ESIAs and E&S due diligence, health & safety, stakeholder engagement, public consultation and disclosure in the local context, gender and inclusion expertise, and/or resettlement expertise, with experience of similar assignments and with recent track record in the region.

- Climate Change Expert with experience in evaluation in climate change.

- Institutional Expert with experience of similar assignments. The Institutional Expert will need to have skills and experience of dealing with public sector entities to review their organisations, identify areas where management reforms would bring value, and assist with implementation of these plans.

- Legal Expert with relevant experience in the areas of natural monopolies regulation and knowledge of the tariff legislation of the country.

- Local Experts with good communication skills and evidenced technical knowledge in the field of their expertise.

The consultant should integrate local professional skills/cooperate with local consulting companies, in order to provide national experience. The consultant should be able to engage on their team the staff with local language skills or arrange for translation/interpreting when necessary.

Submission Requirements: In order to determine the capability and experience of consultants seeking to be shortlisted for the assignment, the information submitted should include the following:

1. Company/group of firms' profile, organisation and staffing (max. 4-6 pages).

2. Details of previous project experience or similar assignments particularly undertaken in the previous ten years, including information on contract value, contracting entity/client, project location/country, duration (mm/yy to mm/yy), expert months provided (if different from duration) , main activities, objectives.

3. CVs of key experts who could carry out the Assignments detailing qualifications, experience in similar assignments, particularly assignments undertaken in the previous five years, including information on contracting entity/client, project location/country, duration (mm/yy to mm/yy), expert months provided, assignment budget, main activities, objectives.

4. Completed Consultant Declaration Form and Contact Sheet, the template for which is available from the following web-link:

The above information should not exceed 40 pages excluding CVs and the Consultant Declaration Form and Contact Sheet.

Expressions of Interest should be submitted in English electronically through e-Selection, to reach the Bank not later than the closing date. The complete expression of interest shall be one file (pdf) to be uploaded to eSelection. The EBRD reserves the right to reject applications of experts submitting more than one file. Only if the permissible file size (4 MB) is exceeded, the Consultant may split the expression of interest into further files.

Bank Contact Person:

Elena Kolodiy

Technical Co-operation

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

One Exchange Square

London EC2A 2JN

Tel: + 44 20 7338 6765

e-mail: (submissions should be sent through eSelection and NOT to this email address)


1. Following this invitation for expressions of interest, a shortlist of qualified firms will be formally invited to submit proposals. Consultant selection and contracting will be subject to availability of funding from the donor.

2. The shortlist criteria are:

(a) Firm demonstrates preferably 10 years of practical experience in developing feasibility studies for IFIs and a good knowledge of IFI procedures and rules on public procurement and disbursement policies - 10%

(b) Firm demonstrates deep knowledge of the sector, with international experience of preferably not less than 10 years, specifically institutional and legal framework aspects, environmental and social requirements; local financial management standards, professional standards of technical knowledge internationally as well as in the region - 30%

(c) Qualifications and competence of the consultant's team of experts to include: project manager, technical specialists, financial analyst, environmental and social experts, climate change expert, legal and local experts - 60%
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