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Washington, DC, March 12, 2004—
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will provide a Euro 42.5 million loan to Pilkington Glass LLC in
Russia. Pilkington Glass LLC is a 50:50 joint venture between Pilkington plc, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of float glass, and Emerging Markets Partnership (EMP). IFC’s loan will be part of a Euro 193 million project (of which the capital cost is Euro 156 million) to construct a new 243,000 ton annual capacity float glass plant in the Moscow region. The project is co-financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
This investment will have a positive impact on the competitive structure of the glass industry in Russia and thereby on the development of the local economy. The new plant will bring state-of-the art float glass expertise to Russia employing efficient and environmentally sound technology. The introduction of this new plant, which is expected to be operational in 24 months, will help construction industry and other consumers to benefit from the increased quality of float glass that it brings in the country. In its operational phase, the new plant will employ about 200 people. As a large industrial complex, the project would generate business opportunities with other industries in distribution, maintenance and services.
Pilkington Group Chief Executive, Stuart Chambers, said “This plant represents our first step in establishing a growth opportunity for Pilkington in Russia, an important expanding market for glass. There is increasing demand for high quality glass in Russia, particularly in and around cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg, where triple glazing is the norm and the increased use of modern insulated glazing unit lines require top quality glass standards”.
Edward Nassim, IFC’s Director for Central and Eastern Europe, noted: “The benefits of the project to the Russian economy are multiple. Besides channeling foreign investment, the project will bring world-class technology in glass production, promote healthy competition in the sector, and generate opportunities for local small businesses servicing the new plant.”
Richard Ranken, IFC’s Director of the Global Manufacturing and Services Department, commented: “This investment fits IFC’s strategy in the glass sector which includes supporting global companies’ expansion into emerging markets and adoption of international standards and technologies to improve environmental performance.”
Russia joined IFC in 1993. Since then IFC has invested over $1.3 billion to finance nearly 70 projects across a variety of sectors. IFC significantly increased its investment program in Russia in the last two years, investing $217 million in FY02 (July 1, 2001 – June 30, 2002) and nearly $500 million FY03. IFC's increased activity reflects the improving investment climate in Russia, greater opportunities in an increasingly broad range of sectors, and stronger foreign investor interest.
The mission of IFC (
) is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY03, IFC has committed more than $37 billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio as of FY03 was $16.7 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held for participants in loan syndications.
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