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The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today announced financing of up to US$20mn for Egypt’s growing natural gas sector.


The investment will sustain the exploration and production operations of Merlon Companies of Egypt, subsidiaries of the Houston-based oil and gas firm Merlon Petroleum Company.

The financing comprises a long-term loan of US$10mn for IFC’s own account and, if required, US$10mn in syndicated loans. The loans will support the second phase of the companies “ongoing exploration and development investments in the El Manasoura and Qantara concessions.


IFC earlier contributed US$20mn to the first phase of the project.
The investments have supported Merlon Egypt in bringing into production its further discoveries in the El Mansoura concession as well as conducting appraisal and exploration activities.

Merlon Egypt has a 50% interest in the El Mansoura concession and a 54% interest in the Qantara concession.

Somit Varma, IFC’s associate director for oil, gas, mining, and chemicals, notes, “It is particularly satisfying to provide further support to Merlon Egypt, an active participant in Egypt’s rapidly growing gas sector. This new investment demonstrates IFC’s continued commitment to gas projects as a clean and convenient fuel to meet the country’s growing energy demands. The project provides an excellent example of our role with smaller independents such as Merlon, whose growth is tied to a strong commitment to their investments in developing countries.”

Merlon Egypt is also committed to environmental and social sustainability. Working closely with IFC, it has established a comprehensive environmental and social management system that serves as a framework for its project activities.