Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 13, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that E-Power, Haiti’s first private sector power generation project open to international bidding, is starting operations. The project is expected to help mitigate acute power shortages in Port-au-Prince.
The state-of-the-art 30-megawatt heavy fuel oil power plant inaugurated today is an important step in Haiti’s reconstruction one year after the earthquake. E-Power will boost energy capacity in Port-au-Prince by 40 percent. It will also provide more cost-competitive electricity as it will burn heavy fuel oil rather than diesel oil. The project is expected to have an important demonstration effect for other investors.
Prior to the earthquake, only 25 percent of Haiti’s population had access to electricity, with the best served areas receiving a maximum of eight hours of energy a day. The project will supply electricity at more competitive prices. The electricity will be sold to the state-owned utility, Electricité d’Etat d’Haiti, under a 15-year power purchase agreement.
E-Power is majority-owned by a consortium of local investors led by Daniel Rouzier, a Haitian businessman. Korea East-West Power Co, Ltd, a large Korean electricity utility, also joined the project. IFC provided $17 million for its own account and syndicated $12 million from the Netherland’s FMO. The total project cost was $57 million.
Daniel-Gerard Rouzier, Chairman of E-Power Chairman, said, “Many have been inspired by the resilience and spirit of the Haitian people in coping with the difficulties of the past year. We look forward to a long-term partnership with IFC, which has shown great commitment to our country and to helping our private sector do its part in rebuilding Haiti.”
IFC has financed more than 200 power projects around the world. In Haiti, IFC is supporting the private sector’s important role in a long-term and sustainable recovery, creating jobs, providing access to finance and developing infrastructure that will improve the quality of life of the Haitian people and spur economic development.
Bernard Sheahan, IFC Director for Infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean, said, “It has been more than two years since our team visited Haiti to discuss our potential financing of the E-Power project with the sponsor. Today’s launch of operations of E-Power is proof of Haitian’s determination to recover and build a better future. E-Power stands as a testimony to what has been achieved in the country under the most challenging environment imaginable.”
IFC responded swiftly to Haiti’s earthquake with five investment projects focused on job creation in the garment, hospitality, energy, finance, and mining sectors. IFC’s portfolio of investments amounts to $47.7 million for seven operations, including $13 million in mobilization. IFC also ramped up Advisory Services operations to foster a better investment climate, improve access to finance, and develop management skills for more than 600 small entrepreneurs. IFC's combined investment and advisory projects are supporting the creation of 5,000 new jobs as well as safeguarding 5,000 existing jobs.
About IFC IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.