Afreximbank grants $200 million facility to support Egypt’s electricity sector

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) signed Tuesday a $200 million loan facility agreement with the state-run Egyptian General Petroleum Company (EGPC) to support the expansion of electricity generation and distribution in the country.

Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, said that the facility would also ensure uninterrupted supply of energy for Egypt’s industrial sector through the financing of import of oil and gas products.

The facility is part of Afreximbank’s broad goal of supporting strategic sectors that could drive industrialisation in Africa, Oramah added.

Over the last few years, Afreximbank had invested about $2 billion in energy generation and distribution in Egypt and in the export of energy products from Egypt to the rest of Africa, the banking official stated.

The signing ceremony took place at the premises of the Egyptian Petroleum Ministry in Cairo on Tuesday.

Afreximbank’s support to Egypt’s energy sector was part of a broader strategic intervention in the country, continued Oramah, who stated that since it commenced operations in 1994, the bank had approved more than $7 billion for Egyptian entities and had disbursed $5 billion.

Afreximbank’s exposure to Egyptian entities currently stood at more than $4 billion, he added.

Referring to the $500-million Egypt-Africa Trade Promotion Programme launched by Afreximbank in January 2015 to facilitate trade and investment flows between Egypt and the rest of Africa, he announced that that programme had enabled Egyptian entities to access some markets in Africa. It had also supported an estimated aggregate of more than $1.5 billion of Egyptian exports to the rest of Africa, Oramah said.

Earlier, Tarek el-Molla, the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Wealth, said that the Afreximbank loan facility would complement the effort of the government in meeting the continuing needs for the development of the country.

He commended Afreximbank for its support and said that the government was building a new Egypt and required the support of all. It was currently developing the biggest gas discovery in the Mediterranean.

Hesham Okasha, Chairman of the National Bank of Egypt, and Zeinab Hashim, Chief Executive Officer of the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Capital, said their institutions are participating respectively as local operation bank for the transaction and as financial adviser to EGPC.