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IFC to Develop Sustainable Hydropower with Korean Power Company in Lao PDR

Vientiane, Lao PDR, July 19, 2012— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Korea Western Power Co., Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Korea Electric Power Corporation, have entered into an agreement to jointly develop sustainable hydropower in Lao PDR that would contribute to the government’s goal of bringing electricity to 90 percent of households by 2020.
The agreement, which was signed in Vientiane on June 22, 2012, will enable IFC, operating through its early-stage project development fund, InfraVentures, to act as Korean Western Power’s co-developer of one or more new hydropower projects in Lao PDR with a total capacity of up to 150 megawatts. Today, IFC Vice President for Asia Pacific Karin Finkelston and Korea Western Power CEO Moon Duk Kim met in Seoul to acknowledge the agreement and kick off the partnership.
“We look forward to working with KOWEPO to develop a successful hydropower business model that pioneers new social and environmental standards in Lao PDR and further promotes the country’s sustainable economic development,” Finkelston said.
Under the agreement, Korea Western Power will lead the overall project development as the main sponsor. IFC InfraVentures will support the project by assisting with financial structuring as well as on environmental and social impact management. In addition, IFC InfraVentures would help mobilize capital for the projects from other developmental financial institutions and commercial banks, subject to separate procedures.
The partnership with Korea Western Power represents IFC’s first private sector investment in the Lao hydropower sector. It is part of IFC’s comprehensive energy strategy that includes investment in hydropower projects that will supply electricity domestically and/or sell to neighboring countries, combined with an advisory program that aims to promote implementation of global environmental and social standards in hydropower projects.
IFC’s presence in Lao PDR spans more than a decade. We provide loans, equity investment and advice to help the private sector become a key engine for sustainable economic growth, creating jobs, raising incomes, and reducing poverty. We promote inclusive growth through improved access to services and infrastructure in Lao PDR and make it easier to do business in order to support the country’s transition into a market-driven economy.
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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