Washington, D.C., June 07 2005 — The
International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, today announced financing of up to $20 million for Egypt's
growing natural gas sector. The investment will sustain the exploration
and production operations of Merlon Companies of Egypt, subsidiaries of
the Houston-based oil and gas firm Merlon Petroleum Company.
The financing comprises a long-term loan of $10 million for IFC’s own
account and, if required, $10 million in syndicated loans. The loans will
support the second phase of the companies’ ongoing exploration and development
investments in the El Manasoura and Qantara concessions. IFC earlier contributed
$20 million to the first phase of the project.
The investments have supported Merlon Egypt in bringing into production
its further discoveries in the El Mansoura concession as well as conducting
appraisal and exploration activities. Merlon Egypt has a 50 percent
interest in the El Mansoura concession and a 54 percent interest in the
Somit Varma, IFC’s Associate Director for Oil, Gas, Mining, and Chemicals,
noted, "It is particularly satisfying to provide further support to
Merlon Egypt, an active participant in Egypt’s rapidly growing gas sector.
This new investment demonstrates IFC’s continued commitment to gas
projects as a clean and convenient fuel to meet the country’s growing
energy demands. The project provides an excellent example of our role with
smaller independents such as Merlon, whose growth is tied to a strong commitment
to their investments in developing countries.”
Merlon Egypt is also committed to environmental and social sustainability.
Working closely with IFC, it has established a comprehensive environmental
and social management system that serves as a framework for its project
James A. Kishpaugh, Chairman and CEO of Merlon Petroleum Company, said,
“IFC has been an exemplary partner in the growth of our company and of
our business in Egypt. Its continued support complements Merlon’s own
equity. These investments are absolutely necessary for the continued and
sustainable development of Egypt’s natural gas industry.”
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private
sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international
financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44
billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143
companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio
as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held
for participants in loan syndications.