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Dynamic framework transfer model for public–private partnerships: Lessons from a China water sector case study

Fengyu Bao (Department of Building and Real Estate, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong) (Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China)
Chuan Chen (Business School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China)
Albert P.C. Chan (Department of Building and Real Estate, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Igor Martek (School of Architecture and Built Environment, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia)
Asheem Shrestha (School of Architecture and Built Environment, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 2 April 2019

Issue publication date: 2 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Public–private partnerships (PPPs) have emerged in developing countries, such as China, as a ubiquitous means by which government procures needed infrastructure. In this regard, they have been much studied. However, due to their long concession period, running into decades, few have run their full course into the transfer phase (TP) in which the PPP concession reverts from the private entity back to the public. In China, this is about to change as many PPPs approach their TP. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to comprehensively investigate the TP of PPPs in China.

Design/methodology/approach

A three-part methodology was undertaken to achieve the research purpose. Extensive literature review was first conducted to analyze the status quo of the transfer management regime in China, followed by the identification of critical challenges and the exploration of solutions via studying the TP of the Chengdu No. 6 Water Plant B Project – the first PPP in China’s water sector to reach the TP. Research procedures and outcomes were hierarchically visualized by using Integration DEFinition language 0 (IDEF0) method.

Findings

The current transfer management regime of PPPs in China’s water sector is deficient in many aspects. Based on the insight into the practice, a generic transfer process model with hierarchical structure process and sub-processes serving as a dynamic framework transfer model with self-evolving nature is developed to facilitate the successful transfer of the PPP utility.

Originality/value

To the authors’ best knowledge, this is the first attempt to systematically probe the TP of PPPs. Hopefully, the findings of this paper are to instruct government and PPP practitioners alike on mechanisms for smoothing the TP of further PPP projects ending their concession period.

Keywords

Citation

Bao, F., Chen, C., Chan, A.P.C., Martek, I. and Shrestha, A. (2019), "Dynamic framework transfer model for public–private partnerships: Lessons from a China water sector case study", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 26 No. 7, pp. 1218-1239. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-01-2018-0028

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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