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IFC Invests $40 Million in Jordan’s EDCO to Help Increase Availability of Electricity


In Washington:
Zibu Sibanda

Phone: 202-473-0605

Email:
zsibanda@ifc.org

In Cairo:

Riham Mustafa

Phone: + 20 24619149 ext 306

E-mail:
rmustafa@ifc.org


Amman, Jordan, May 7, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $40 million in Jordan’s Electricity Distribution Company (EDCO) to help upgrade the company’s distribution network and implement an investment plan to improve the availability of electricity and quality of services for customers.

IFC’s investment comes at a critical time for the electricity sector in Jordan. EDCO was recently privatized and needs to rapidly demonstrate the benefits of those reforms to the public. The government of Jordan is already realizing some of those benefits, channeling its scarce resources to other priority sectors as a result of the privatization. The government expects EDCO to demonstrate the viability of private provision of electricity distribution services to the nation and the region.

“We appreciate IFC’s support in such a difficult financing environment, as most banks are shying away from lending,” said Mohammed Friehat, EDCO’s Managing Director. “IFC’s investment in EDCO is an endorsement of our business model and the Jordanian economy.”


EDCO will use a portion of the IFC investment proceeds to consolidate its assets in the electricity distribution sector, which would improve the company’s efficiency.


“This landmark transaction will demonstrate the benefits of public-sector reforms and private-sector participation in electricity distribution to the region,” said Michael Essex, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa Region. Anita George, IFC’s Infrastructure Director for Asia and MENA, said IFC’s investment in EDCO will help “reduce distribution losses, thus contributing to lower greenhouse emissions and mitigating climate change.”


IFC also worked closely with EDCO to develop an Environmental and Social Action Plan for the project. The plan is expected to help improve occupational and public safety performance in accordance with international best practice while addressing pollution management and performance.


About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About EDCO

EDCO serves the southern and western parts of Jordan. In 2008, EDCO was acquired by the Kingdom Electricity Company, a consortium of investors from Jordan and the Arabian Gulf countries. The lead investor in KEC is Jordan Dubai Capital.