BUENOS AIRES, Dec. 10— The International
Finance Corporation (IFC) today signed an investment agreement to provide
US$50 million to Refineria San Lorenzo S.A., a vertically integrated, petroleum
refining company headquartered in San Lorenzo, Santa Fe province of Argentina.
The financing will be used to modernize and expand the firm’s refinery
enabling the company to produce unleaded gasoline, low-sulfur diesel, and
other refined products in compliance with World Bank Group environmental
standards. The project will also support Refisan’s retail operations through
the development of a network of gas stations in northern Argentina.
“Argentina’s expanding economy has driven the demand for petroleum products
beyond the country’s existing refining capacity,” said Mr. Jean-Philippe
Halphen, Director of IFC’s Chemicals, Petrochemicals and Fertilizers Department.
“The Refisan modernization program supported by IFC will help meet the
local market’s requirements and additionally will provide cleaner and
higher quality petroleum products.”
“Refisan has worked closely with IFC in identifying the best approaches
to optimize the performance of each phase of refining and to improve the
environmental, health, and safety aspects of the refinery’s facilities,”
said Mr. Tadeo Perich, President of Refisan. “We look forward to a productive
partnership with IFC.”
The total project cost is estimated to be US$92 million. IFC has arranged
a financing package of US$50 million consisting of a loan of US$20 million
for IFC’s own account and a syndicated loan of US$30 million for the account
of commercial bank participants which include Deutsch-Sud, Banco Exterior
de España S.A., Banque Européenne pour l’Amérique Latine S.A., Société
Générale, Banque Indosuez, and Union Bank of Switzerland.
Refisan, which was privatized in 1993 under the government’s privatization
program, employs more than 180 people in the province of Santa Fe.
IFC, a member of the World bank Group, is the largest multilateral source
of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing