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IFC Supports Solar Cell Technology in Russia, Helping Alleviate Global Shortage


In Washington, D.C.
Josef Skoldeberg
Phone: +1 202 473-6978

E-mail:
jskoldeberg@ifc.org

In Moscow

Nezhdana Bukova
Phone: +7 (495) 411 7555 ext 2026
E-mail:
nbukova@ifc.org


Moscow/Washington, D.C., July 31, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today agreed to support solar cell technology in Russia, contributing to the growth of the country’s renewable energy sector and helping combat climate change.

IFC’s $50 million equity investment and $25 million loan to Russian polysilicon producer Nitol Solar will help establish the company’s new production facilities in Usoliye Sibirskoye, a region in southeastern Siberia. Polysilicon is a key material in producing solar cells and is in short supply globally, hindering the growth of the solar energy sector. Nitol Solar’s projected output of 3,700 tonnes annually equals about 9 percent of last year’s global polysilicon supply. This will help alleviate the global shortage once production starts in mid 2009.


“We welcome IFC as a shareholder since it is not just a financial investor, but also an advisor on sustainable development. This investment is a strong endorsement of our business model and a recognition of the social and environmental value of our project,” said Dmitry Kotenko, CEO of Nitol Solar.


Renewable energy sources such as solar energy are becoming alternatives to fossil fuels in many parts of the world as concerns about global warming grow and the cost of conventional energy is soaring.


In addition to financing Nitol Solar’s growth, IFC is working with the company to enhance environmental and social practices and implement international best practices in corporate governance.


“This project is an example of IFC’s commitment to helping mid-tier companies become global players and of our strategy to support the growth of renewable energy,” said Somit Varma, IFC Director for Oil, Gas, Mining, and Chemicals.  


Tackling climate change in developing countries is one of the World Bank Group's priorities. In 2004, the World Bank Group committed to scale up its support for renewable energy and energy efficiency by 20 percent annually through 2010.


About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About Nitol Solar

Nitol Solar is an international group that manufactures key chemical components for the global photovoltaic industry from a chemical chlorine and silicon gas facility in Usolie-Sibirskoe in the Irkutsk Region of Russia. The company’s current and envisaged product groups encompass a number of steps in the photovoltaic value chain from trichlorosilane gas through polycrystalline wafers used in solar cells. Nitol Solar’s aim is to become a global leader in the efficient supply of products for the fast-growing photovoltaic industry. For more information, visit
www.nitolsolar.com.