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What You Need to Know About the New FIDIC Gold Book Contract Guide

What You Need to Know About the New FIDIC Gold Book Contract Guide

The FIDIC Gold Book is a standard form of contract for design, build and operate (DBO) projects, published by the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) in 2008. It is the only internationally recognised DBO standard and covers all aspects of a project from design and construction to operation and maintenance.


The FIDIC Gold Book is intended for greenfield projects, where the contractor is responsible for designing and building a new facility according to the employer's requirements and operating it for a specified period. It does not include any provision for upgrading existing facilities or financing the project, which are common features of public-private partnership (PPP) or build-operate-transfer (BOT) projects.

In 2011, FIDIC published the latest in their series of Contract Guides, which provide detailed guidance and commentary on the clauses of the FIDIC Gold Book. The Contract Guide aims to help users understand and apply the contract effectively and avoid potential disputes. It also includes example forms of tender, contract data, schedules and certificates.

Some of the key topics covered by the Contract Guide are:

  • The roles and responsibilities of the parties, including the employer, the contractor, the engineer and the operator.

  • The risk allocation and liability regime, including force majeure, unforeseeable physical conditions, variations, defects, delays and termination.

  • The payment mechanism and performance security, including advance payment, interim payments, final payment, retention money, performance bond and defects liability bond.

  • The dispute resolution procedure, including notices of claim, amicable settlement, dispute adjudication board (DAB) and arbitration.

The Contract Guide also addresses some of the criticisms and challenges faced by users of the FIDIC Gold Book, such as:

  • The fitness for purpose obligation under clause 4.1, which imposes a high standard of performance on the contractor and may conflict with other clauses or local laws.

  • The operation service under clause 9, which requires the contractor to operate the facility for a minimum period of one year or until it reaches a specified output or performance level.

  • The interface between construction and operation under clause 10, which deals with the handover of the facility from the contractor to the operator and the transfer of risks and responsibilities.

  • The adaptation of the FIDIC Gold Book for brownfield projects or PPP/BOT projects, which may require substantial amendments or additional documents.

The FIDIC Gold Book Contract Guide is a valuable resource for anyone involved in DBO projects using the FIDIC Gold Book. It provides practical advice and insights on how to use the contract effectively and avoid potential pitfalls. It also reflects FIDIC's commitment to update and improve its standard forms of contract in response to user feedback and market developments. e0e6b7cb5c


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