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IFC Invests in GAC Group to Support Oil Operations in Kazakhstan, Africa, and the Middle East


In Cairo:
Riham Mustafa
Phone: + 20 2 4619140 ext.306
Email:
rmustafa@ifc.org

In Moscow:
Nezhdana Bukova
Phone: +7 (495) 411 7555, ext 2026
E-mail:
nbukova@ifc.org


Washington DC, USA, June 3, 2010 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced it is investing in GAC Group to help the global shipping, logistics and marine services provider acquire new vessels to support offshore oil operations, spurring economic development and better employment opportunities in a number of emerging markets.

Infrastructure is a global priority for IFC and the $35 million loan to GAC will finance the group’s purchase of up to six supply vessels to support offshore oil rigs. Three vessels will operate in Kazakhstan, while the others will operate in Africa and the Middle East. GAC is one of the first international marine operators in the Caspian. The company has more than 10 years of experience in the region, and is today the largest international operator in Turkmenistan.


Anita George, IFC Director for Infrastructure, said, “IFC is pleased to support GAC Group, a reliable marine services and offshore supply vessel operator, to expand its services in Kazakhstan and in other markets. The project will have significant development impact in terms of greater efficiency, safety and training and transfer of industry best practices to local staff."


Erland Ebbersten, GAC Group Vice President for Europe, Africa, Mediterranean, Black & Caspian Sea, said, “GAC’s expansion underlines the group’s commitment to the Caspian region. We believe we can contribute significantly to development of the energy infrastructure in the Caspian, and we welcome IFC’s support in making this meaningful task possible for us.”


Kazakhstan has been unable to exploit its large reserves of oil and gas largely because of a lack of infrastructure, support services, and equipment. Financing for new vessels and equipment has been difficult in the country and the wider region, as entry and exit costs are high, because the only route out of the area is frozen for up to 6 months of the year. The global financial crisis has exacerbated this challenge.


IFC’s support for GAC will also help improve employment prospects in a number of emerging markets as the majority of the company’s employees will be hired locally and will benefit from its training programs.


About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

About GAC

GAC is a global provider of shipping, logistics and marine services. These services are constantly being refined and integrated to serve our customers’ increasing need for competitive solutions. Emphasising trust, reliability and a strong human touch, GAC has been building its reputation in its chosen markets since 1956.  Headquartered in Dubai, GAC employs over 9,000 people in more than 300 offices worldwide. More info at
www.gacworld.com.