Infrastructure projects are conducted in the transport sector, involving motorways, rail lines, maritime transport and aviation. But infrastructure also includes construction of communications systems, energy projects such as wind farms, sewage and waste treatment facilities, water, electricity and gas installations, public use buildings, radio navigation systems, and other projects. Infrastructure may create conditions for the flow of goods, energy and people, as well as satisfy demand for services, shape social, economic and information ties, increase the attractiveness of a given region, and stimulate economic growth.
Given the breadth of the field, no single procedure can be identified for carrying out infrastructure projects. It depends on the specific nature of the project.
One thing the types of projects mentioned above have in common is that they all require high investment outlays and have a time horizon of many years. Even if the construction phase for a motorway is relatively brief, the project assumes a return on investment, e.g. in the form of tolls, extending far into the future. It is similar with other infrastructure projects. This is why it is imperative to select the proper method of financing for an undertaking, which will determine the further course of procedure. An undertaking may be financed through traditional methods, public-private partnership, or a concession for construction work or services.
The administrative and environmental aspects are vital when embarking on an infrastructure project, hence the need to obtain permits, approvals, and environmental and siting decisions. All of the risks of a project must be identified and the available instruments deployed to eliminate or minimise the risks.