IFC invests in Dubai-based GAC to support oil operations in Kazakhstan, Africa, the Middle East

June 10. PennEnergy Petroleum Products

IFC invests in Dubai-based GAC to support oil operations in Kazakhstan, Africa, the Middle EastIFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing in Dubai-based GAC Group to help the global shipping, logistics and marine services provider acquire new vessels to support offshore oil operations, spurring economic development and better employment opportunities in a number of emerging markets.

Infrastructure is a global priority for IFC and the $35 million loan to GAC will finance the group’s purchase of up to six supply vessels to support offshore oil rigs. Three vessels will operate in Kazakhstan, while the others will operate in Africa and the Middle East. GAC is one of the first international marine operators in the Caspian. The company has more than 10 years of experience in the region, and is today the largest international operator in Turkmenistan.

Erland Ebbersten, GAC Group Vice President for Europe, Africa, Mediterranean, Black & Caspian Sea, said, “We believe we can contribute significantly to development of the energy infrastructure in the Caspian, and we welcome IFC’s support in making this meaningful task possible for us.”

Kazakhstan has been unable to exploit its large reserves of oil and gas largely because of a lack of infrastructure, support services, and equipment. Financing for new vessels and equipment has been difficult in the country and the wider region, as entry and exit costs are high, because the only route out of the area is frozen for up to 6 months of the year.

IFC’s support for GAC will also help improve employment prospects in a number of emerging markets as the majority of the GAC Group’s employees will be hired locally and will benefit from the company’s training programs.

IFC creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis.