TBILISI Feb 7 International Financial
Organisation (IFC) has arranged a $140 million financing package
for Armenia's major power generating facilities, a move that
will bolster the country's supply of clean energy, the IFC said
The funding was allocated to ContourGlobal Hydro Cascade, a
subsidiary of ContourGlobal, an international power-generation
company, to upgrade the 404-megawatt Vorotan hydro-power
complex, parts of which are almost four decades old.
The package includes the IFC's own loan of $45 million as
well as loans of $65 million from FMO, the Dutch development
bank, and $30 million from DEG, the German Investment and
"This is the first time we are putting together very large,
long-term financing package for infrastructure project in
Armenia," Tomasz Telma, the IFC's Europe and Central Asia
department director, told Reuters.
He did not disclose financial details of the package, but
said that in addition to the loan, IFC acted as a sole provider
of an interest rate swap, which would help ContourGlobal Hydro
Cascade hedge the interest rate risk on the financing package.
The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, said the Vorotan
Cascade was expected to generate around 1,150 gigawatt hours of
electricity annually after the upgrade.
"The financing is expected to boost electricity reliability,
providing a steady supply of clean power to an additional 60,000
residential customers," Telma said.
The Vorotan Cascade includes three hydropower plants and
provides 15 percent of Armenia's electricity.
"Increasing its capacity is key for Armenia, a country that
imports fuel to cover around 90 percent of its energy needs,"
the IFC said in a statement.
(Reporting by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Tom Heneghan)