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IFC Invests in China’s United Water to Improve Water Supply in China

Beijing, June 27, 2012— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has provided a $16 million loan to China-based United Water Corporation to improve the delivery of clean water in China’s less-developed regions.
The company operates water supply and wastewater treatment plants located in five small cities and townships in Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hubei and Inner Mongolia provinces, serving 2 million people.
The loan will help finance the construction of a transmission system for United Water’s Jiangsu plant to supply tap water to 100,000 residents in a township that has limited water service and has depleted  underground water resources. The company aims to improve the efficiency of its plants by reducing losses from leaks to 30 percent by 2015 from more than 40 percent currently.
“IFC’s global expertise in the water sector will be invaluable to our growth in China, allowing us to expand reliable water services for underserved populations,” said Philip Yu, President of United Water Corporation. “As a standard setter, IFC can also help us improve our environmental, social, and corporate governance performance so that our business will benefit the communities we serve well into the future.”
China’s fast-growing economy, large population, and rapid urbanization have led to increased degradation of its water resources. An estimated two-thirds of the country’s more than 600 cities suffer from water shortages and over 100 cities are seriously affected.  As of end-2010, about 40 percent of counties and townships in China had no sewage plants.
“Improving water quality and efficiency are key strategic priorities for IFC in China,” said Hyun-Chan Cho, IFC’s Country Manager for China and Mongolia. “Together with United Water and other private and public partners, IFC is keen to find cost-effective and practical solutions to water scarcity, which is critical to China’s future economic growth and social well-being.”
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, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit www.ifc.org .
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