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IFC Supports Brazil’s First Large Wind Power Farm


In Washington
Ann Pasco

Phone: +1 (202) 473-9167

Email:
apasco@ifc.org

In Washington DC

Adriana Gomez

Phone: (202) 458 5204

Email:
Agomez@ifc.org


Washington D.C., January 10, 2006—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will make an equity investment of $5.5 million in Energias Renováveis do Brasil Ltda (Enerbrasil), to support the construction, operation, and maintenance of a 49.3 megawatt wind power park located in the Municipality of Rio do Fogo, State of Rio Grande do Norte, in the Northeast of Brazil. Wind power is a free and renewable energy resource that offers substantial environmental benefits with no pollution to many parts of Brazil where it is difficult to transmit traditional power.

Scheduled to begin operating in June 2006, the Rio do Fogo wind farm is expected to be the first large-scale wind power project to enter commercial operation in Brazil.  Enerbrasil will sell all its output to Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras S.A. (Eletrobrás), Brazil’s state-controlled electricity utility, under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with Iberdrola in this investment. IFC’s financing to Enerbrasil fits our strategy to support infrastructure and to promote renewable energy development, which is a priority area for the Government of Brazil,” said Atul Mehta, IFC’s Director for Latin America and Caribbean.

Brazil has been a leading country in the use of renewable energy resources, including hydroelectricity and alcohol-based vehicle fuels.  In 2002, to expand on the available resource potential, Brazil passed a law to create PROINFA, a national program designed to stimulate greater use of electricity generated from non-traditional renewable energy resources such as wind, biomass, and small hydro generation projects.  PROINFA calls for a total of 3,300 MW of such new capacity supported by firm power sales contracts with Eletrobrás.  The PROINFA program is administered by the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

“IFC is committed to facilitating private sector investment in renewable energy, including wind power generation systems. This project is an important investment that will facilitate the development of Brazil’s PROINFA program,” said Francisco Tourreilles, IFC’s Director for Infrastructure.

“Iberdrola is delighted to be working with IFC on this important renewable energy project in Brazil.  The Rio do Fogo wind farm is just one part of the company’s plan to expand renewable energy projects in strategic countries” said Bosco López-Aranguren, Iberdrola´s Head of Structured Finance for Renewable Energy.

Enerbrasil is a wholly-owned Brazilian subsidiary of Iberdrola Energías Renovables (“Iberenova”), one of the leading companies worldwide in the renewable energy business. Iberenova is a 100% subsidiary of Iberdrola S.A. of Spain, one of the largest private electricity groups worldwide. Iberdrola is among the leading renewable energy utilities in the world and has approximately 3,000 MW of wind projects under management.

IFC is pursuing wind project financing opportunities across Latin America and the Caribbean as well as other developing regions, an effort that includes addressing market barriers.

IFC in Brazil

During fiscal year 2005, Brazil received the largest amount of IFC financing, in US dollar value, among Latin American countries. IFC made investments of $591million, including $190 million in syndications, in sectors ranging from agribusiness and transportation to manufacturing and the financial markets. IFC’s total portfolio in Brazil was $913 million at June 2005.

IFC's strategy for Brazil focuses on enhancing clients' prospects for competitiveness and growth, improving the country's social equity through voluntary actions by the private sector, and continuing to promote sustainability.

These priorities entail investing in growing, export-oriented companies; helping Brazilian companies expand internationally (including through South-South investments); emphasizing infrastructure and logistics, notably public-private partnerships that expand services to poorer people; and helping build financial and capital markets. IFC also seeks to finance firms committed to environmental and social sustainability, to help improve corporate governance, and to support microfinance and socially-oriented entrepreneurship. Since 1956, when Brazil joined IFC, the Corporation has provided $7.45 billion, including syndications, for 162 companies.

About IFC

The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.  IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent.  Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition 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, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.  For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.