Improving Performance of Wastewater Sector via Private Sector Participation

Wentang Pan, Lijin Zhong, Jining Chen


ABSTRACT: It has been heavily argued municipal wastewater infrastructures in China are currently facing great challenges of low efficiency and poor performance while thousands of wastewater treatment plants were constructed during the past decade. In addition to raise funds needed for expanding the coverage of infrastructure, it is also believed that the participation of private sectors could help improve the management as well as the performance of facilities. Eight years later since Chinese Government called for the marketization reform of public sectors(including water, wastewater, transportation, etc.) and introducing private sectors to invest, operate and manage wastewater infrastructures, emphases of the reform have shifted from raising funds to both funds and efficiency/performance improvement. This paper reviews the development of private sector participation in China’s water sector to date, and analyzes in details the innovative PPP development in Hunan Province, which has successfully raised fund needed, expanded wastewater infrastructure coverage, and improved integration of wastewater governance. It illustrates that the improvement of wastewater sector performance could come along the private sector involvement in some conditions.

Keywords: Performance; wastewater infrastructure; private sector participation; China