Cross-sectional analysis of critical risk factors for PPP water projects in China

Ping Chuen Chan, Tsun Ip Lam, Yang Wen, Ernest E. Ameyaw, Shouqing Wang, Yongjian Ke

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

119 Citations (Scopus)


During the past decades in China, the traditional state monopoly has experienced difficulties in meeting the huge demand for new infrastructure and improvement in service levels, engendering the growth of different forms and degrees of private sector involvement. Since the 1990s, China has started experimenting with the public-private partnership (PPP) delivery method in the water supply sector. However, many problems stemming from unsuccessful risk management have been encountered in PPP applications that have eventually led to project failure. This paper aims to identify and evaluate typical risks associated with PPP projects in the Chinese water supply sector. A literature review, a Delphi survey, and face-to-face interviews were used to achieve these objectives. Finally, a register of 16 critical risk factors (CRFs) of water PPP projects in China was established. The findings revealed that completion risk, inflation, and price change risk have a higher impact on Chinese water PPP projects, whereas government corruption, an imperfect law and supervision system, and a change in market demand have a lower impact on the water supply sector. The findings can help project stakeholders to improve the efficiency of privatization in public utility service and provide private investors with a better understanding while they participate in the enormous Chinese water market through the PPP mode.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04014031
JournalJournal of Infrastructure Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • Public-private partnerships
  • Risk allocation
  • Risk ranking
  • Water supply sector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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