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Washington, D.C., May 23, 2002--The International Finance Corporation (IFC)—the private sector lending arm of the World Bank Group—has agreed to reschedule US$204 million in IFC’s outstanding loans provided to Star Petroleum Refining Company Limited (SPRC), Thailand.  This rescheduled debt includes both an A-loan for IFC’s own account and a B-loan for the account of participating banks.

IFC and Bank of America, N.A., together with other members of the Lenders’ Steering Committee—Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd. (formerly The Industrial Bank of Japan Limited), Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited, and Deutsche Bank AG—led discussions to reschedule the company’s outstanding debt of $549 million, which includes IFC’s loans.

The company’s sponsors, ChevronTexaco Global Energy Inc. (with 64 percent ownership) and PTT Public Company Limited (with 36 percent ownership), have strongly supported SPRC since the Asian financial crisis and were instrumental in reaching an agreement to reschedule its debt.  The lenders, sponsors, and SPRC completed a successful rescheduling package which was unanimously accepted by all lenders on the basis of fair burden-sharing among all parties.

The 150,000 barrel per day refinery, in the Map Ta Phut area of Rayong Province in Thailand, was commissioned in mid-1996.  Its construction was funded on a project finance basis with $1.2 billion in long-term debt secured from a large group of commercial banks, including 50 participant banks in IFC’s B Loan.  The refinery was constructed to meet the growing petroleum demand in Thailand and to support the government's program to improve transportation fuel specifications amidst concerns about deteriorating air quality in the Bangkok metropolitan area.  

Mr. Rashad Kaldany, IFC Director for Oil, Gas, and Chemicals, said, “The successful closure of this debt rescheduling was largely due to the confidence of the sponsors and lenders in the long-term viability of the project and the demonstrated willingness of the sponsors to support SPRC.  This transaction will also contribute to business confidence in Thailand, especially on the part of foreign investors.”

Ms. Suellen Lazarus, IFC Director for Syndications, added, “With 50 participant banks in the B loan to SPRC, it is the largest bank group in IFC’s syndicated loan portfolio, and we are delighted that the banks were unanimous in their support for the restructuring.”

IFC’s mission is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing 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, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.  Since its founding in 1956 through the close of the last fiscal year on June 30, 2001, IFC committed more than $31 billion of its own funds and arranged $20 billion in syndications for 2,636 companies in 140 developing countries.  IFC’s committed portfolio at the end of FY01 was $14.3 billion.