WASHINGTON, March 10, 1999 -- The International
Finance Corporation will invest up to US$16 million in the first privately
financed water project in Bolivia. The investment in Aguas del Illimani
S.A. will support a project to improve water and sewerage services for
the residents of La Paz and El Alto in Bolivia.
Aguas del Illimani operates the water and sanitation services in the area
under a 30-year concession awarded by the Water Superintendency of the
Government of Bolivia in July 1997. Suez-Lyonnaise des Eaux S.A.
is the company's largest shareholder and operator.
The Aguas del Illimani concession highlights the vital role of the private
sector in providing future infrastructure services in Bolivia, said Mr.
Declan Duff, IFC Director of Telecommunications, Transportation, and Utilities.
He noted that full concession contracts like this are the most effective
way of achieving the benefits of private sector efficiencies.
The project underlines World Bank Group support for the Government of Bolivia's
National Action Plan to raise the living standards of the poor, strengthen
institutions and achieve sustainable private-sector led growth.
The project will enable Aguas del Illimani to implement its first five-year
capital expenditure plan, which is estimated at $68 million. The
plan will increase the supply of water and install more than 70,000 water
connections, providing nearly total water distribution to the population
of La Paz and El Alto. It will also install over 38,000 sewerage
connections in La Paz and El Alto and complete the construction of a wastewater
IFC's financing consists of a loan of up to $15 million for IFC's account
and an equity investment of up to $1 million in the capital of Aguas del
Illimani. The Inter-American Development Bank and the Corporación
Andina de Fomento will provide parallel financing of up to $25 million.
IFC, part of the World Bank Group, fosters economic growth in the developing
world by financing private sector investments, mobilizing capital in the
international financial markets and providing technical assistance and
advice to governments and businesses.