$8.6m of new funds for water, energy and sewage projects in the Latin America and the Caribbean

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Source: Inter-American Development Bank

The Inter-American Development Bank’s Infrastructure Investment Fund (InfraFund) approved a total of US$8.6 million for 18 technical cooperation projects and leveraged counterpart and other resources worth a total of $4.9 million in 2007. The Infrafund’s mission is to target critical infrastructure needs in Latin America and the Caribbean by helping private, public and mixed-capital organizations identify, develop and prepare bankable projects.

Since its launch in 2006, InfraFund has approved 23 projects in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname and Uruguay. Recently the fund declared six other projects eligible for $4.8 million in funding, which is expected to be approved in the first quarter of 2008.

By sector, InfraFund has approved nine technical cooperation operations for energy projects (five of which are for renewable energy and energy efficiency); seven for transportation projects (including an airport, road, bus rapid transit system and railway); five for water and sanitation; and two for multisector projects: the Brazilian PSP Development Program aimed at promoting private sector participation in infrastructure projects, in partnership with BNDES Participaçoes and International Financial Corporation, and support for Banobras in the design and evaluation of financial guarantee instruments for subnational infrastructure investment in Mexico.

Some of the landmark projects the InfraFund is supporting include: Santa Fe Wind, the first wind power project in Panama; Portais da Cidade, Porto Alegre’s innovative public-private bus rapid transit system; the rehabilitation of the Peligre Hydroelectric power plant in Haiti, which supplies close to 25 percent of the country’s power; the Rio de Janeiro-São Paulo high-speed train link, a project that could be worth in excess of US$9 billion; and a joint venture between Argentina and Uruguay for a liquefied natural gas plant, the first of its kind on the Atlantic coast of South America.

In addition to private-sector and national government initiatives, the InfraFund is supporting projects led by regional and local governments and government enterprises, such as the electrical utility of the province of Entre Ríos in Argentina, the transportation authorities of the cities of Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre in Brazil, the water utilities of the city of Pasto and the state of Cundinamarca in Colombia, and Costa Rica’s power company Institute Costarricense de Electricidad, in conjunction with the Bank’s first non-sovereign guaranteed loan to a state-owned company.  

The Inter-American Development Bank is the main source of multilateral financing for economic, social and institutional development projects as well as trade and regional integration programs in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB plans to allocate US$12 billion for infrastructure projects in the region by 2010.

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