Special Purpose Vehicle for Infrastructure Project Financing through Public Private Partnerships: The Answer to Infrastructure Problems in Developing Countries?

  • Amalachukwu Nwazota

Student thesis: Phd


This study focuses on the legal aspects of project financing. The importance of this research is signified by the emergence of public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements as project financing options that allow addressing the infrastructure needs in many developing as well as developed economies. This thesis seeks to answer the following overarching question: To what extent can public-private partnerships be used as a legal structure to effectively manage project financing risks? This thesis argues that synergy between the government and the private sector is what is required to adequately manage project financing risks. To support this argument, the study will identify and assess risks that occur in connection with the project financing of energy and infrastructure projects, the parties best able to bear them, as well as the legal and commercial strategies for the mitigation of these risks. This study and its findings (which are inevitably mixed), are rooted in the situation of neocolonial "democracies", where weak institutions and widespread corruption do not allow the state to engage with large infrastructure projects and their management. This research therefore, aims to establish the means by which public-private partnerships can be structured to play strategic roles for governments seeking to accelerate infrastructure delivery in a sustainable and cost-effective manner. To achieve this, the study reviews and analyses the legal and regulatory framework of public-private partnerships in Nigeria, South Africa, Brazil, and India, in order to identify the limitations of the PPP frameworks in these jurisdictions and what the critical success factors are. This thesis further discusses selected case studies: the Murtala Mohammed Airport 2 (MMA2) in Nigeria, the Dabhol Power Project in India, and the London Underground in the United Kingdom. These case studies illustrate certain aspects of project financing that are most relevant within the scope of this thesis. The case studies aim to clarify the legal issues analysed in this research such as the legal strategies for the mitigation of project financing risks as well as the legal and regulatory framework of PPPs. Finally, the case studies corroborate some of the conclusions and findings reached in this thesis.
Date of Award1 Aug 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorVincenzo Bavoso (Supervisor) & Geraint Howells (Supervisor)

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