Africa news round-up

Published: October 6, 2015

IFIs back Egyptian gas projects

 IFIs back Egyptian gas projects

The IFC and EBRD are among investors in Egypt’s gas-to-power infrastructure as the government struggles to keep the lights on.

The International Finance Corporation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and HSBC have arranged a US$200mn financing package for PICO International Petroleum, an Egyptian independent oil and gas company. The loan, of which the IFC provided US$50mn, will be used to expand PICO’s hydrocarbon operations in the Gulf of Suez, which feed into Egypt’s struggling power infrastructure.

In an interview with EMEA Finance, the EBRD’s country director for Egypt, Philip ter Woort, says that more deals are likely to follow, driven by reforms to the energy sector and improving political and regulatory stability. The bank, which expanded its remit from the former Soviet bloc countries to include the Middle East and North Africa in 2012, has now invested in four oil and gas exploration projects in Egypt, as part of a broader programme of support to the country’s energy and power sector.

“It is quite clear that something needs to be done,” ter Woort says. “Last year… there were power cuts every five minutes. It’s clear that they have to move forward. There is a realisation, not only with the government but also the public, that it is necessary— and it is.”  

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