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IFC Supports Energy Supply in Argentina


Contact:
In Washington
Hannfried von Hindenburg
+1 (202) 458-5613

E-mail:  hvonhindenburg@ifc.org

In Sao Paulo
Karina Manasseh
55 11 5185-6881

E-mail:  kmanasseh@ifc.org


Washington, D.C., March 4, 2008 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has agreed to help finance Roch, an Argentine oil and gas company, to increase the energy supply needed to support Argentina’s economic growth.

IFC has signed an agreement to invest up to $17 million in equity in Roch to help accelerate development of the company’s hydrocarbon reserves, particularly natural gas. IFC expects to follow up with a long-term loan of $20 million.

”Developing our gas reserves will help provide the energy Argentina needs to grow. Our cooperation with IFC validates our business plan and capabilities,” said Ricardo Chacra, Roch’s President and CEO. “IFC’s financial support will help strengthen our capital base and position as an independent regional oil and gas company through potential further acquisitions. This outcome would not have been possible without IFC’s deep sector expertise and rapid decision-making process.”

With IFC’s support, Roch expects to double production from its existing fields by 2010. IFC will also help the company refine its corporate governance practices and establish an integrated environmental, health and safety, and social management system, in line with IFC’s performance standards and international best practices.

“IFC is pleased to partner with a local company that is strategically positioned to increase its resource base in Argentina.  Roch has also sought to adopt international standards on corporate governance and environmental and social management, areas in which we bring specific expertise,” said Somit Varma, IFC Director for Oil, Gas, Mining, and Chemicals. “We look forward to a long-term relationship with Roch.”

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 poor people 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 loan participations 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 Roch
Roch S.A. is an Argentine company, founded in 1990 by Ricardo Omar Chacra, that owns and operates oil and gas assets in central and southern Argentina. The company’s main asset is its participation in the Rio Cullen– Las Violetas – Angostura joint venture, which produces natural gas and crude oil in Tierra de Fuego.  For more information, visit www.roch.com.ar.  Roch was advised by Fenix Partners.