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WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 11 -- The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed a US$10 million financing agreement with TicoFrut S.A., a frozen concentrated pineapple and orange juice producer located in Aguas Zarcas de San Carlos, in northern Costa Rica near the border with Nicaragua. TicoFrut exports all of its production, mainly to the United States. To keep pace with producers in other countries, the company is undertaking a US$30 million investment program designed to improve competitiveness through a major expansion of processing capacity, allowing the company to take advantage of economies of scale. TicoFrut will also construct bulk handling facilities at the Atlantic port of Moin, enabling the company to lower its shipping costs. In addition, the project will generate significant environmental benefits, including the construction of a feedmill to process orange peels into cattle feed and the installation of a new wastewater treatment plant. "This project will help improve the competitiveness of an important non-traditional export sector for Costa Rica," stated Mr. Karl Voltaire, Director of IFC's Agribusiness Department. "The world orange juice market is expected to grow over the next few years, and export earnings from this sector are expected to grow as well." IFC is lending TicoFrut US$5 million for its own account and has syndicated a US$5 million loan with Rabobank Nederland. This project is IFC's second investment in Costa Rica in calendar 1995. In June, IFC approved financing for Abonos del Pacifico, S.A., a bulk-blending fertilizer manufacturer at Orotina on the Pacific coast. IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is the leading multilateral source of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing countries.
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