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IFC Provides Additional Financing For Merlon Egypt



In Washington

Hannfried von Hindenburg

Phone: (202) 458-5613

Fax: (202) 974-4384

Email:
 hvonhindenburg@ifc.org

In Cairo:

Gulrez Hoda

Phone: (20-2) 5796565 / 5799900
Fax: (202) 5792211

Email:
ghoda@ifc.org


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 Qantara concession.


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 activities.


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.