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IFC ARRANGES US$70 MILLION FINANCING FOR PULP INDUSTRY IN BRAZIL


Jacqueline Shanberge


WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 22 -- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed a financing package of US$60 million for an international Brazilian-based joint venture company, Bacell S.A. DEG, the German Investment and Development Company, is co-financing the project with a DM17 million loan (about US$10 million equivalent). An additional US$40 million loan provided by BNDES, the Brazilian Development Bank, completes the financial plan of the project. For a total project cost of about US$200 million, Bacell will build the first, totally chlorine-free dissolving pulp mill in Latin America, which will meet the highest international environmental standards and World Bank guidelines. Bacell's main sponsors are Indstrias Klabin de Papel e Celulose SA, the largest pulp and paper company in Latin America, with a consolidated turnover of about US$800 million in 1993, and Lenzing AG of Austria, the global leader in the cellulosic fiber industry, with a consolidated turnover of about US$700 million in 1993. Both c
ompanies have extensive experience in producing dissolving pulp. The Bacell pulp mill will be installed near Salvador in the State of Bahia, Brazil. It will have the capacity to produce 100,000 tons per year of dissolving pulp, largely as a raw material, for export to Lenzing's viscose fiber operations in Indonesia and the U.S., as well as for niche markets, including cellulosic materials for food, medical, and high-tech industries. The IFC financing package consists of an equity investment of US$10 million for IFC's account and a loan of US$50 million, of which US$14 million is for IFC's account and US$36 million has been placed with the following participating banks: GiroCredit Bank; Creditanstalt-Bankverein Vienna; Bank Austria Aktiengesellschaft; Deutsch-S¸damerikanische Bank Aktiengesellschaft-Dresdner Bank Group; WestLB Group; and Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich Aktiengesellschaft (RZB-Austria). "The demand for viscose fiber in Latin America and South East Asia is showing strong growth, due to its un

ique wearing characteristics and natural origin. By investing in Bacell, IFC is promoting both a technology that is environmentally sound and a product that could become an increasingly important natural fiber," said Mr. Helmut Paul, Director of IFC's Latin America and Caribbean Department. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is the largest source of multilateral financing for private sector projects in developing countries.