WASHINGTON, D.C., April 12 -- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has approved US$45.2 million in financing for the Maple-Leaf Cement Factory Limited (MLCFL) in Pakistan. MLCFL, which is majority-owned by the Saigol/Kohinoor industrial group, is undertaking a US$160 million investment program to expand its annual grey Portland cement production capacity from 0.6 million to 1.6 million tons. The company will also upgrade its existing facilities and make substantial improvements in pollution control to bring it up to international standards. The IFC financing consists of US$5.2 million equity investment, a US$ 30 million loan for IFC's own account, and a US$10 million loan that will be syndicated with international financial institutions. The total project cost is estimated at US$160.8 million. MLCFL will employ the latest, energy-efficient dry process technology, using imported equipment provided by F.L. Smidth of Denmark, which will also invest in the project. This project fits in well with the govern
ment's objective of privatizing and modernizing the cement sector, and will satisfy the rapidly expanding demand for cement in Pakistan. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group, and the largest multilateral source of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing countries.