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IFC Invests $60 Million to Support Transelec Expansion Plans in Chile


IFC in Washington
Adriana Gomez

Phone: (202) 458 5204- Fax: (202) 974 4384

Email:
agomez@ifc.org

Transelec and Hydro-Québec TransÉnergie in Montreal:

Sylvie Tremblay, Press Officer

Phone : (514) 289-4975

E-mail :
tremblay.sylvie.m@hydro.qc.ca


Washington, D.C., May 14, 2003—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has invested US $60 million in HQI Transelec S.A, the primary electricity transmission company in Chile. This is IFC’s largest equity investment in Chile, and the first in the country’s electricity transmission sub-sector.

IFC’s investment, in the form of convertible preferred shares, will help Transelec implement its ambitious investment program to expand and upgrade its network in order to provide access to the grid to new electricity generating plants which are expected to come on line in the near future. In addition, the investment is expected to support Transelec’s plans to develop interconnections with other transmission systems in Chile, as well as with neighboring countries.


Transelec’s transmission network is currently based in Chile’s Central Interconnected Transmission System (SIC) which extends over 2,200 km (1,367 miles) and serves over 90 percent of Chile’s population. Transelec owns and operates approximately 7,471 km (4,642 miles) of transmission lines that are supported by 59 substations.


Francisco A. Tourreilles, Director of IFC's Infrastructure Department, said: “IFC is pleased to support a company which is expected to play a key role in the Chilean electricity sector by strengthening the transmission network of the country, and responding to the country’s growing electricity demand.  Transelec’s expansion program will improve market access for power generators and is expected to enhance competition in the electricity sector, which will ultimately benefit end consumers.”


Bernard Pasquier, IFC’s Director of the Latin America and Caribbean Department, noted: “With this operation, IFC is supporting one of the few global strategic investors still investing in the private electricity sector in Latin America at a time of sharp decline in foreign direct investments in the region. This investment shows IFC’s commitment to support the private sector in the region, and its role as a long-term partner.”

Prior to this investment, Transelec was 100 percent indirectly owned by Hydro-Québec, the major Québec-based producer, transmission provider, and distributor of electricity.  Hydro-Québec acquired Transelec from Endesa Chile in October 2000 and since that time has embarked upon an important expansion program in Chile’s electricity transmission sector.


Jacques Regis, president of Hydro-Québec TransÉnergie, the transmission division of Hydro-Québec

(
www.transenergie.com) and vice-president of the Board of Directors of Transelec commented “We are very pleased to welcome IFC as an investor in Transelec and expect to work closely with our new partner in the development of the company in Chile.”
 
IFC's committed portfolio in Chile is US$240 million. IFC’s strategy in the country has been focused in areas where investing can make a significant developmental impact,  with the objective of supporting a traditionally strong private sector which has been affected by the decline in foreign private capital flows.  


IFC's mission (
www.ifc.org) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries and transition economies, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives.  IFC finances private sector investments in the emerging markets, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.  Since its founding in 1956, IFC has committed more than $34 billion of its own funds and arranged $21 billion in syndications for 2,825 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's committed portfolio at the end of FY02 was $15.1 billion.

Hydro-Québec (
www.hydroquebec.com) is an integrated publicly owned company providing services in the energy sector. Its generating facilities have a total installed capacity of 37,909MW. In terms of installed capacity it uses water power to produce 93% of its total output. Hydro-Québec's core mission is to supply Quebecers with the power they need. Hydro-Québec is also known worldwide for its expertise, particularly in the areas of hydroelectric generation and high-voltage transmission. It maintains a presence abroad, where it owns, builds or operates facilities in Central America, South America, Australia, United States and Asia.