Design Risk Transfer Model of Public-Private Partnerships - Decision Path: The Case of Hydropower Generation in Uganda

Thekiso Molokwane, Alex Nduhura, Lukamba Muhiya Tshombe, Roseline Akol Nyongarwizi


The motivation of the study was to explore the risks associated with PPP models implemented in Uganda’s hydropower with the aim of designing the most appropriate PPP model for hydropower dams. Based on a systematic review of the literature, industry reports and official documents, this paper reveals that the Government of Uganda made a deliberate attempt to adopt PPPs in the electricity sector but faced construct project risks. The outcome of our investigation confirms that the build–own–operate–transfer has been used utilizing of design-bid-build (DBB) contracting method for hydropower dams that has attracted construction design risks, with limited attempt to manage such risks. To reduce risks, the findings of our study recommend for the need to bundle the Design-Build (DB) functions, thus, resulting in the selection of a design-build-own-operate-transfer (DBOOT) model that has the potential to reduce design risks when implementing PPPs in the generation of electricity. By proposing DBOOT that is aligned with the DB contracting approach, governments can ensure optimal risk transfer to special purpose vehicles while mitigating cost, time, and schedule extensions.


Keywords: design risk, public-private partnerships, design-build, design–bid–build, electricity.

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