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IFC Boosts Albania’s Power and Steel Sectors with Long-term Financing


In Istanbul:
Basak Ulgen

Phone: +90 212 385 3075

E-mail:
BUlgen@ifc.org


Istanbul, Turkey, December 19, 2013—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is supporting the steel industry and the power sector in Albania through a long-term financing facility for a leading iron and steel producer that will improve competition in the power sector and encourage economic growth.

IFC’s eight-year €106 million debt facility will finance Kurum International’s acquisition and rehabilitation of four recently-privatized hydroelectric power plants in Albania, which will then provide sustainable and cost-effective energy to the company’s steel plant. The project will help the steel plant improve its competitiveness by lowering its electricity costs, bringing new investors into Albania’s energy sector, and improving the private sector’s access to reliable energy.

“I believe that incorporating hydro energy generation to our existing manufacturing processes will strengthen Kurum Group’s competitiveness in Albania and neighboring Balkan countries,” said Hasmet Bedii Kurum, Chairman of Kurum Holding, parent company of Kurum International.

The debt facility includes a €33 million loan for IFC’s own account and €73 million of financing syndicated to a diverse group of commercial banks and developmental finance institutions. The financing includes B Loans of €27 million from FMO (Netherlands Development Finance Company), and €14 million from Odeabank, the Turkish subsidiary of Bank Audi (Lebanon). It includes parallel loans of €18 million from the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, €7 million from Banka Kombetare Tregtare, a local bank in Albania, and €7 million from Raiffeisen Bank Albania (which is also acting as the collateral agent).


"This project demonstrates IFC’s commitment to support Albanian power sector and economic integration by facilitating cross-border investments within the region,” said Guy Ellena, IFC Director, Manufacturing, Agribusiness, and Services in Europe and the Middle East and North Africa. “It is also a good example of cooperation among commercial banks and developmental institutions.”


IFC’s committed investment portfolio in Albania as of the end of June 2013 is $213 million. In fiscal year 2013, IFC invested $207 million in Albania, including $146 million mobilized from our partners. IFC’s advisory services in Albania aim to attract private sector participation in infrastructure projects and improve the investment climate, the performance of private sector companies, and access to finance.  


Kurum International is a member of the Kurum Group and the only integrated industrial enterprise involved in iron and steel production in Albania.


About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly US$25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information please visit
www.ifc.org.

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About Kurum Holding


Controlled by the Turkish Kurum Family since the mid-1970s, Kurum Group has been operating in the iron and steel industry with the vision to expand its operations to other related businesses in Turkey and the Balkans. Kurum Holding has established various companies and currently employs more than 1,100 people in Turkey and the Balkans. Based in Albania, Kurum International, located in Elbasan, is an integrated steel and iron company that operates a mill with 510,000 tpa of billet production capacity. Kurum International enjoys the exclusivity of being the first and only operator of an integrated single iron and steel production plant in the country.