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The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement to provide a US$4mn loan to China’s Changchun TBK Shili Auto Parts, to help it begin producing asbestos-free car brakes.
The loan will help finance construction of a plant to manufacture break linings without asbestos, reducing pollution and health risks in China. The country’s brake friction materials contain about 40% asbestos, a material linked to lung cancer.
The borrower is a joint venture between TBK, Japan’s manufacturer of brake systems for trucks and buses, and Changchun Shili Automobile Brake Parts, a Chinese manufacturer of brake friction materials.
TBK’s advanced technology allows the company to produce non-asbestos brake linings at low cost, which will benefit its customers and while improving air quality. First Automotive Work group, China’s largest vehicle manufacturer, will use the linings in its commercial vehicles.
“This project will have significant positive impacts on the environment as well as contribute to local economic development,” says Dimitris Tsitsiragos, IFC’s director for global manufacturing and services. “This project underscores IFC’s commitment to supporting the transfer of advanced manufacturing technologies and established industrial practices to China and other emerging markets.”
IFC’s participation has played an important role in setting up the project.
IFC’s status as an international organisation and its expertise and experience in the Chinese market have given TBK comfort in dealing with its local partner and the government. IFC’s monitoring of the project’s implementation will also help ensure the success of key developmental impacts, including technology transfer and employee training.