IFC $30m loan to boost jobs, manufacturing in Nigeria, two others

A financing package worth about $30 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is aimed to boost manufacturing capacity and job creation in Nigeria and two other African countries, including Algeria, and Egypt.

The facility, which is given to Baalbaki Chemical Industries (BCI) Holding SA, a leading regional manufacturer and distributor of polyurethane (PU) raw materials, systems and specialities with headquarters in the UAE, will help to further expand its production in these countries by creating hundreds of direct and indirect jobs.

The partnership between the international lender and BCI Holding SA is part of IFC’s strategy to combat poverty and create jobs by supporting the growth of the private sector in the Middle East and Africa.

With the new factories across Africa, the project will also help strengthen regional integration and technology transfer, and the development of regional supply chains.

A statement posted on the IFC website reads in part: “IFC’s $30 million loan will support the company’s expansion of its existing production facility in Egypt and the commissioning of new factories in Algeria and Nigeria. The financing will help BCI develop regional supply chains for polyurethane, a versatile product used in insulation, footwear, packaging and other industries.”

Specifically, the facility is expected to produce more than 80 direct jobs and several hundred indirect jobs in the supply chain and through employment multiplier effect, although no detail was provided in regards to when the Nigerian operation will take off.

With the new factories across Africa, the project will also help strengthen regional integration and technology transfer, and the development of regional supply chains.

IFC noted that BCI’s signature technology, used to convert recycled scrap PET into polyester polyol for insulation, has the potential to support circular economy initiatives, aimed to build resilience, generate business and economic opportunities, and provide environmental and societal benefits.

Commenting, Founder and Chairman of the Group, Dr. Ihsan Baalbaki, was quoted as saying: “Our group has been able to survive and prosper over the past 64 years, despite the challenges in the region, primarily due to our commitment to a holistic view of what constitutes a true positive bottom line. Businesses we invest in and develop must not only be economically feasible, but also socially beneficial and environmentally friendly.”  

He added: “The capacity of the PU industry to create meaningful and sustainable job opportunities and add to the Middle Eastern industries’ local content capabilities explains why we continue to invest passionately in it. We are confident our partnership with IFC will further amplify our business’s capacity as a force for good.”

Similarly, IFC’s Regional Industry Manager for Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services in the Middle East and North Africa, Ashruf Megahed, said: “With the right financing and support, private businesses like BCI Holding SA can create much-needed jobs and drive a green and resilient economic recovery from COVID-19, which has had a profound impact on the Middle East and Africa.” 

IFC is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets, and has committed about $31.5 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries to end extreme poverty, and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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