By Davy Karkason
Founding Attorney

Public-Private Partnership (PPP) is an effective approach to implement infrastructure projects and provide public services. It is a contractual arrangement between the public sector and private entities to share the risks and responsibilities of delivering a project. PPP contracts come in different forms depending on the nature and complexity of the project. In this blog, we will discuss the different types of PPP contracts and their significance.

Operation and Maintenance PPP Contracts

In this type of contract, the private sector is responsible for the operation and maintenance of existing public assets such as roads, bridges, and airports. The main advantage of this type of contract is that it allows the government to transfer the financial burden of operating and maintaining the assets to the private sector. The private entity is paid a fee for the services provided. This arrangement also allows the government to decide on the terms and conditions of the contract, including any incentives or penalties associated with performance. Additionally, in most cases, project management is conducted by professionals from both the private and public sectors. This ensures that all parties are held accountable for their duties and responsibilities. Overall, this type of agreement helps ensure that public assets are properly managed and maintained.

Furthermore, transnational contracts can help to promote economic growth and development in a given region. By incentivizing the private sector to invest in projects that benefit local communities, such as infrastructure and educational facilities, governments can spur job creation and attract foreign investment. This type of agreement also increases the likelihood of successful completion of projects due to the increased oversight provided by the contracting parties.

Transnational contracts also provide a mechanism for resolving disputes that arise between different countries and entities. By establishing clear rules and regulations, both parties can feel confident that their interests will be defended in case of a disagreement and they can avoid costly legal action. Lastly, these types of agreements are often used as tools to protect human rights or to combat corruption.

Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) PPP Contracts

The BOT contract involves the private sector constructing, operating, and transferring the ownership of the asset to the government after a certain number of years. The private entity is responsible for financing the construction and operation of the asset and making it commercially viable. The government, on the other hand, pledges to pay the private entity a pre-agreed amount for the use of the asset by the public.

The contract also outlines the rules of engagement between the parties, such as liability for costs and penalties in case of contractual defaults. Furthermore, it describes maintenance standards and other performance-related requirements to ensure that the asset is fit for use. The BOT agreement also includes provisions for dispute resolution and termination conditions. Finally, a successful BOT project requires both sides to adhere to the terms of the contract and maintain a good working relationship.

The Basic Framework for BOT projects

The basic framework for BOT projects is governed by local regulations, such as taxation laws. In some cases, international bodies provide guidance on best practices in public-private partnerships. As such, it is important to review any applicable rules before proceeding with a BOT project. Additionally, all parties must agree to a reasonable risk allocation and clear obligations. This includes providing security against default of payment, ensuring that an independent third-party certifies the asset’s performance, and setting up dispute resolution mechanisms.

In order for a BOT project to be successful, all parties should work together during the pre-construction planning stage. This includes conducting due diligence, assessing market conditions and financial feasibility, and establishing a timeline for the project. Furthermore, it is important to employ an experienced legal team to ensure that all contracts are enforceable and consistent with local law. During the construction phase, parties should focus on mitigating any risk of disruption or delays by communicating regularly and setting up a satisfactory system of supervision.

Design-Build-Finance-Operate (DBFO) PPP Contracts

The DBFO contract involves the private sector designing, financing, constructing, and operating the infrastructure asset. The private entity is responsible for obtaining funding and designing the asset to meet the needs of the government. The government, in turn, agrees to pay the private entity a pre-agreed amount for the use of the asset. DBFO contracts are typically long-term agreements, lasting up to 35-40 years. The private entity must maintain the asset during its operational phase and is responsible for any upgrades or expansions that may be required. As part of the agreement, the government may also set performance targets and standards that must be met by the private sector partner. At the end of the contract term, ownership of the asset is transferred back to the government, or a new agreement is negotiated.

Design-Build-Operate (DBO) PPP Contracts

In the DBO contract, the private sector is responsible for designing, constructing, and operating the infrastructure asset. The government maintains ownership of the asset but pays the private entity for the services provided. This type of contract is suitable for complex projects that require a high degree of technical expertise. It is also an effective way to ensure that a project is completed on time and within budget.

Under the DBO contract, the private sector partner takes on most of the risk associated with the project. As such, they are incentivized to maximize efficiency and minimize costs. The government has more control over how the project progresses since they maintain ownership of the asset. This makes it easier to ensure that projects are completed in a timely manner and within the agreed-upon budget. Additionally, it allows for greater flexibility when changes need to be made to the project. Overall, DBO contracts have proven to be an effective way of delivering infrastructure projects on time and within budget.

However, there are some drawbacks associated with DBO contracts. The most significant downside is the lack of incentive for the private sector partner to maximize value in the long run. Since they are only responsible for delivery, there is less pressure on them to ensure that projects remain profitable after completion. Additionally, these contracts may be more expensive up-front and require a greater amount of capital investment from the government than traditional procurement methods.

Flexibility when it comes to making changes and adjustments throughout the course of the project. DBO contracts are often viewed as a fixed-price contract between the government and the private sector partner, meaning that any changes or modifications require mutual agreement from both parties.

Concession PPP Contracts

The concession contract is a long-term lease agreement between the government and the private sector. The private entity is granted the right to operate and manage a public asset such as a toll road, port, or airport for a specific period of time. The government retains ownership and control of the asset, but the private entity is required to invest in upgrading and maintaining the asset. The private entity also collects and keeps any revenue generated from the asset. In return, the government pays the private entity a concession fee and/or other incentive payments according to the terms of the agreement.

What do Concessions contracts do?

The concession contract outlines specific performance indicators for both parties, which vary depending on the nature of the asset and related services being provided. These performance indicators are monitored throughout the term of the concession agreement to ensure that both parties are meeting their contractual obligations. Penalties may be imposed if the performance indicators are not met. Additionally, there are usually provisions in a concession contract for termination in cases where one of the parties fails to meet its obligations or fails to maintain the required standards of service.

The private entity also typically has exclusive rights within the concession, meaning that only they can offer services or operate an asset for a certain period of time. This exclusivity is granted in order to protect the private entity’s investment and ensure they can make a return on it. For example, a private entity may be given exclusive rights to operate a highway toll road for 15 years. During this period, no other entity can compete on this road in any way.

In return for the exclusivity, the private entity is typically required to pay a fee or royalty to the government. Other financial obligations may also be laid out in detail in the concession contract, such as payment of taxes and fees. The agreement should also specify any liabilities that will be assumed by each party and how they will be handled.

For more information on PPP contracts visit PPP Contract Types and Terminology Public Private Partnership (worldbank.org)


PPP contracts offer a valuable tool for governments to deliver public infrastructure and services more efficiently and cost-effectively. Each type of PPP contract has its unique characteristics and advantages, depending on the nature and complexity of the project. Understanding the different types of contracts is crucial to ensure the success of a PPP project. If you are considering implementing a PPP project, it is essential to engage the services of experts to advise you on the appropriate type of contract for your project. Our law firm is always ready to help out negotiating the terms of your contract and advise on the issues of the PPP contract. Contact Our Office – Transnational Matters

About the Author
As a lawyer and the founder of Transnational Matters, Davy Aaron Karkason represents numerous international companies and a wide variety of industries in Florida, the U.S., and abroad. He is dedicated to fighting against unjust expropriation and unfair treatment of any individual or entity involved in an international matter. Mr. Karason received his B.A. in Political Science & International Relations with a Minor in Criminal Justice from Nova Southeastern University. If you have any questions about this article you can contact Davy Karkason through our contact page.