Lebanon, June 27, 2007 — IFC, the
private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today signed its first public-private
partnership advisory agreement with the government of Lebanon to help build
a new independent power plant and establish a concession for an existing
450-megawatt power plant in the district of Deir Ammaar through private
sector participation. The new facility is expected to help rehabilitate
Lebanon’s power sector.
Lebanon has long suffered from widespread
electricity shortages, which have increased as a result of the conflicts
in 2006. With support from the World Bank Group, the country has begun
to reform its electricity sector, with the aim of reducing electricity
losses, increasing operational efficiencies, and improving the quality
and reliability of power infrastructure and supply. Through this project,
IFC will help the government develop the framework for private sector participation
in electricity generation and ensure transparency in the bidding process.
The project will also provide a model for public-private partnerships in
“Public-private partnerships are efficient
business models that help increase private sector investment in public
infrastructure. This project will support Lebanon’s post-conflict reconstruction
effort and help provide access to a reliable supply of electricity to those
who need it most,” said Michael Essex, IFC Director for the Middle East
and North Africa.
IFC, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries.
IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners
in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people
have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06,
IFC Financial Products has committed more than $56 billion in funding for
private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications
for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services
and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support
to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure,
to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance,
and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information,
please visit www.ifc.org.