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LOAN TO IMPROVE POWER DISTRIBUTION IN BOLIVIA


Jannette Esguerra
Phone: (202) 458-5204
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: jesguerra@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C. May 31, 2000 — The International Finance Corporation is investing to improve access to power in the growing Bolivian cities of La Paz and El Alto with a loan to Electropaz, a private company that distributes 35 percent of electricity in Bolivia.
IFC will make a US$25 million loan to modernize and expand Electropaz so that it can provide reliable service to many poor residential areas. Electropaz, which is majority owned by Iberdrola, a leading private electric utility in Spain, is operating under a 40-year concession and services 266,000 mostly residential customers.
The project will catalyze the long-term commercial financing needed to reduce bottlenecks in power distribution, said Vivek Talvadkar, Director of IFC's Power Department. It will enable Electropaz to provide electricity to the residents of El Alto and La Paz, which is nearly 30 percent of Bolivia's total population and growing dramatically in recent years, mainly because of rural-urban regional migration.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries, which will 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.