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.