Promoter’s obligations

Before a promoter can start on a civil engineering project it will be necessary to undertake a number of studies. These may comprise:
• market demand studies to define what are the needs the proposed project
should meet, such as the size and quality of the project output or benefit;
• economic and financial studies to decide for how long a period it is economic for the project to cater for the foreseeable demand, taking into account the cost involved and how the project is to be financed;
• feasibility studies to ensure the project is engineeringly practicable, confirm its probable cost, and decide what methods should be adopted for the design and construction;
• legal studies to ascertain what statutory or other powers must be obtained to construct the project, including environmental approvals.
These studies are all interconnected. For the market and financial studies, the promoter may appoint economic advisers because a major problem to be
resolved is how large should the project be (in terms of output or capacity) and whether it would be economic to phase the construction in stages.
The feasibility studies will need to investigate different options for providing the output, to ascertain how practicable it is to adopt phased construction, and what difference this would cause to capital outlays and their timing.
Legal advice will be necessary to obtain powers to purchase land, gain access, alter public rights of way, abstract water, discharge waste, gain planning approval, and meet environmental and other objections. A number of outside bodies may have to be consulted on these matters.
Special procedures, including presenting the case for a project before a public inquiry or gaining parliamentary approval can be necessary for many types of work. For projects internationally funded it will be necessary to meet the extensive requirements of funding agencies, such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Fund, or European Community regulations.
These requirements are often complex and may necessitate the employment
of a firm of consulting engineers experienced in such work, together with
financial and economic advisers.
It can take 2 years or more on a major project to conduct all the studies
required and negotiate the powers required for construction. Even on a small project these matters can seldom be completed in less than a year.