AbstractIn the past two decades, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has had massive infrastructure projects development to meet the increasing demand for public services and foster socioeconomic transformation. As a result, there has been an influx of Chinese international contractors (CICs) in SSA in order to close the infrastructure gap. Despite the significant involvement and active participation of CICs in the global construction industry, clearly few studies have investigated the performance of CICs in SSA, and their performance is not very well understood. The goal of this paper is to provide insights into the performance of CICs in SSA using a case study of an engineering-procure-construct (EPC) hydropower project in Uganda, East Africa. A literature review was carried out followed by a case study analysis including interviews with the owner’s key senior project participants. Performance is evaluated based on five criteria: schedule; change orders; quality; health, safety, and environment (HSE); and owner satisfaction. The findings indicate poor performance of the CIC with 20% schedule overrun, breach of change order procedures, poor quality of work, high rate of incidents and fatalities, and low level of owner’s satisfaction. The findings and lessons learned, though specific to this case study, will be useful for public agencies in developing countries, particularly in SSA, administering similar contracts and projects with CICs.Practical ApplicationsThe paper established the poor performance of a Chinese international contractor (CIC) on a hydropower engineering-procure-construct (EPC) project in Uganda, based on five project performance/success criteria: schedule; change orders; quality; health, safety, and environment (HSE); and owner satisfaction. Ultimately, the outcomes of this paper provide practical insights for industry practitioners on performance evaluation of CICs executing projects using EPC project delivery methods. Lessons learned and best practice strategies are also put forward to mitigate the identified performance shortcomings of CICs in future projects and improve the chances of project success. What is truly important, in the end, is owners dedicating sufficient resources for pre-project planning including the selection of competent and credible EPC contractors and the owner’s engineer to ensure enhanced project contract administration.

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