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IFC Helps Address Water Scarcity in China with First Investment in Desalination Sector

Beijing, September 20, 2012— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has invested $12 million in Norway’s Aqualyng Holding AS to expand the company’s seawater desalination projects in China, helping address the country’s water shortage problem.
The investment is part of Aqualyng’s recently completed $30 million fund-raising round, which also attracted investments from Clean Resources Asia Growth Fund, in which IFC is also an investor, and Pareto Staur Energy. Aqualyng will use the funds to build new desalination plants in areas in China experiencing water scarcity and other parts of Asia, producing up to 100,000 cubic meters of fresh water daily.
“With IFC as an investor, we will be better placed to attract additional private capital in the future,” said Bernt Østhus, Executive Chairman of Aqualyng. “IFC is known for quality investments and has a reputation for carefully selecting the companies they work with. IFC’s global network will also help us to expand faster in emerging markets.”
This is IFC’s first investment in China’s emerging seawater desalination industry.
“Our investment in Aqualyng underscores our commitment to help China address water shortages, which seriously affects more than 100 cities in the country and millions of people,” said IFC’s Director for East Asia and the Pacific Sérgio Pimenta. “By partnering with a leading desalination company in Asia, we are also demonstrating that private sector players can be instrumental in helping solve such developmental challenges.”
Aqualyng and its joint venture partner Beijing Enterprises Water Group recently commissioned the first stage of the Caofeidian desalination plant in Hebei province, which can process 50,000 cubic meters of fresh water daily. The plant is one of the first large-scale, commercial seawater reverse osmosis plants in China and is considered a model desalination project in the country. Aqualyng’s equity investment in this project received a guarantee from the World Bank Group’s Multilateral Investment and Guarantee Agency.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit
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