IFC arranges $375 mln in financing to boost Iraq’s power sector

DUBAI, April 28 International Finance
Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private sector
investment arm, said on Thursday it had arranged $375 million in
financing for an Iraqi power company to provide electricity to
millions of people in Kurdistan and Baghdad.

The company, Mass Global Energy Sulimaniya, will use the
funds to add 500 megawatts of capacity to a 1,000-megawatt power
plant in Kurdistan, providing power to 3 million people. It will
also help complete a new power plant near Baghdad that will
supply about half of the Iraqi capital’s electricity
requirements.

The debt and equity package, which includes $250 million
from IFC and $125 million from Bank Audi, Lebanon’s
biggest lender by assets, includes IFC’s first Islamic
syndicated loan.

The investment in Kurdistan will help boost infrastructure
in a part of Iraq that is struggling following an inflow of more
than 1 million internally displaced Iraqis and 250,000 Syrian
refugees, IFC said in a statement.

“One of IFC’s objectives is to promote investment in
conflict-affected countries and Iraq is one of those countries
as it faces security, migrant and power challenges,” Dimitris
Tsitsiragos, IFC’s vice president of global client services,
told Reuters in an interview.

Years of war and lack of investment have crippled Iraq’s
power infrastructure, causing frequent blackouts and stifling
economic growth.

The financing is part of IFC efforts to support
infrastructure development in Iraq, which needs to raise power
generating capacity by an estimated 70 percent to meet current
demand, the IFC said.

It has provided funding for around 10 projects to date in
Iraq covering telecoms, industry, water and hotels among other
sectors, and is looking at further investment opportunities in
the power and manufacturing sectors, said Tsitsiragos.

(Reporting By Tom Arnold; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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Source URL:http://www.reuters.com/article/ifc-iraq-power-idUSL5N17T5RY

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