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GAC receives $35m IFC loan to expand offshore fleet

Dubai: Shipping, logistics and marine services provider GAC Group has secured a $35 million loan from World Bank Group member IFC to help acquire new vessels to support offshore oil operations, spurring economic development and better employment opportunities in a number of emerging markets. The loan is expected to fund the group's purchase of up to six supply vessels. Three vessels will operate in Kazakhstan, while the others will operate in Africa and the Middle East.

Erland Ebbersten, GAC Group Vice President for Europe, Africa, Mediterranean, Black & Caspian Sea, said, "GAC's expansion underlines the group's commitment to the Caspian region. We believe we can contribute significantly to development of the energy infrastructure in the Caspian, and we welcome IFC's support in making this meaningful task possible for us."

Kazakhstan has been unable to exploit its large reserves of oil and gas largely because of a lack of infrastructure, support services, and equipment. Financing for new vessels and equipment has been difficult in the country and the wider region, as entry and exit costs are high, because the only route out of the area is frozen for up to 6 months of the year. The global financial crisis has exacerbated this challenge.

IFC's support for GAC is also expected to help improve employment prospects in a number of emerging markets as the majority of the GAC Group's employees will be hired locally and will benefit from the company's training programs.  [08/06/10]


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