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.