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WASHINGTON D.C., April 15 x, 2004
—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, will provide a $15 million loan to San Vicente Terminal Internacional S.A. (SVTI) which operates the Port of San Vicente, a medium sized port in Chile, specializing in handling forest products in bulk, break bulk and containers.
In 2003, the port handled 3.4 million tons of cargo (104,147 containers, 1.1 million tons of break bulk and 0.7 million tons of bulk cargo), a 12% increase over 2002. About 60% of all cargo handled at San Vicente comprises forestry products (wood pulp, wood chips, sawn timber, paper, logs and fiberboard, etc.). SVTI plans to carry out the necessary expansion of San Vicente and restructure part of its existing medium-term loan with a long-term project-finance loan from IFC.
SVTI was awarded a 15-year concession following a competitive bidding process in November 1999 to rehabilitate, expand and operate the Port of San Vicente. SVTI is a 50/50 joint venture between Carrix, Inc. and Sudamericana Agencias Aéreas y Marítimas S.A. (SAAM). Carrix is the world’s largest privately held container terminal operator and cargo handling company and is based in Seattle, Washington. SAAM, a subsidiary of the Chilean shipping company Compañia Sud Americana de Vapores, provides various maritime services throughout Latin America including a shipping agency, stevedoring, depots and repair shops, tug boats for berthing and un-berthing and inland freight services.
Victor Pino, SVTI´s chairman, expressed that "we are very satisfied with the provision of this loan by IFC. The positive experience of SAAM and Carrix with IFC’s financing of their other port projects was a key element in the decision to request a loan facility from IFC for this project. With this loan, the long term financing needs of SVTI are well covered, and we expect to maintain our leadership position in this important industrial region in the country".
Francisco Tourreilles, IFC’s director for Infrastructure, said that "the proposed expansion of San Vicente is expected to transform the port into the largest and most efficient in the region, and one that will benefit from its strategic geographical location and from the presence of major Chilean export industries such as forestry and fishing." He added, "the project will support the growth of production and trade for important port users including, forest products firms, fishmeal producers, iron and steel plants, paper products firms, and consumer goods industries."
Bernard Pasquier, IFC’s director of the Latin America and Caribbean department, also noted that “this operation fits the Corporation strategy to support the development of infrastructure projects that are critical for the continued expansion of Chilean economic activity and foreign trade.”
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org) 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 $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held for participants in loan syndications.
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