Washington DC, November 10, 2005.—
The International Finance Corporation will provide $160 million for construction
of Chile’s La Higuera hydropower project to help meet the country’s increasing
La Higuera is the first project-financed hydropower plant to be built in
Chile in recent years. The project is a 155 megawatt run-of- river hydroelectric
power plant. It will be built in the Tinguiririca Valley, about 150 km
south of Santiago.
The project is being developed by a 50:50 consortium consisting of Australia’s
Pacific Hydro Limited and Statkraft Norfund Power Invest AS (SNPI) of Norway.
Pacific Hydro was founded in 1992, and its core business is the
development of hydro and wind power projects. SNPI was established
in 2002 as a joint venture between Statkraft SF and the Norwegian Investment
Fund for Developing Countries; its objective is to develop, own, and operate
environmentally-friendly hydropower assets.
IFC’s long-term financing consists of a $35 million loan for IFC’s own
account, a $115 million syndicated loan for the account of participating
banks, and a $10 million subordinated loan for IFC’s own account. Banco
Santander Central Hispano S.A., DnB NOR Bank ASA, and HSH Nordbank AG joined
the syndicated program as lead arrangers. Nordea Bank Norge ASA is
the lead manager, and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB joined as a participant.
Francisco Tourreilles, IFC’s Director for Infrastructure, said, “IFC's
financing of La Higuera will help expand capacity for renewable generation
of electricity in Chile. This is crucial to support the country's
economic growth and help reduce carbon emissions associated with power
generation. We are happy to be partnering with Pacific Hydro and Statkraft
Norfund Power Invest in this important project.”
Atul Mehta, IFC’s Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, noted,
“This project fits with IFC’s strategy to finance infrastructure projects
in the region -- projects that address the developmental needs of each
country. The La Higuera project is also a tribute to Chile’s transparent
and competitive regulatory system.”
The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the
World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. IFC coordinates
its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but
is legally and financially independent. Its 178 member countries
provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.
The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment
in developing and transition 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 FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own
funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140
developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was
$19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants
in loan syndications. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.