Xi Lang WWTP, China: an international success story in public-private partnership

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Guangzhou, a city of about 12 million people, is located on the Pearl River Delta in Southern China. The Guangzhou Municipal Government, desiring to improve the environmental quality of the heavily polluted Delta, decided that a wastewater treatment plant should be constructed on the Huadi River in the Fang Cun district. A Public-Private Partnership delivery method was adopted for this project, and a 20 year concession awarded to a joint venture of an international engineering firm and a Chinese developer. The concession was for the build operate transfer of a new 260 ML/d (69 MGD) wastewater treatment plant and 26 km of interceptor sewers, the first of its type in China. This paper presents a successful Public-Private Partnership project for a relatively large wastewater treatment plant. This model is the preferred model for infrastructure delivery in China and is gaining more acceptance in North America. Keys to success included the need for a correct management structure and a financial model that mitigated risk appropriately between the public and private parties.

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