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IIC and Orofrán S.A. of Uruguay hold signing ceremony for loan of US$6.5 million

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and Orofrán S.A. held a signing ceremony for a loan of US$6.5 million that will boost cargo transport services on Uruguay’s waterways.

The ceremony was held within the framework of the Twenty-seventh Annual Meeting of the IIC Board of Governors and is set to finance the purchase of four river barges and two tugboats that will carry logs from the M’Bopicuá logistics terminal in Río Negro Department to Punta Pereira’s port terminal in Colonia Department.

“The IIC loan has opened up new sources of financing for us in an undeveloped market for long-term projects. Moreover, the IIC’s international experience has complemented and improved the work of our professional team in both finance and projects. The entire process has enriched our capabilities and better positioned us for future projects,” noted Gonzalo Tapia, general manager of Orofrán.

According to Jacques Rogozinski, the IIC’s general manager,“This project will spur private sector development in Uruguay, establishing ties between the transport sector and the country’s export sector with its suppliers. The Orofrán project is expected to create jobs and promote regional integration, drawing on experience from Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.”

The operation is part of a larger project implemented by fellow Uruguayan enterprise Montes del Plata, which plans to build a cellulose pulp mill in Colonia Department. Orofrán will provide exclusive riverine logging transport services to Montes del Plata, covering a distance of 150 km on the Uruguay River and operating for a minimum of five years beginning in 2013.

The Montes del Plata project is the largest foreign investment in Uruguay’s history, for an aggregate US$2.3 billion, creating almost 6,000 jobs in the region. It also includes the construction and operation of a 160-megawatt biomass plant, river port and barge terminals, and a wood chipping plant.

The signing ceremony was held at the IIC’s offices in Montevideo’s Radisson Hotel, this year’s venue for the Annual Meeting of the IIC Board of Governors. Signing on behalf of Orofrán was Gonzalo Tapia, and on behalf of the IIC, Jacques Rogozinski.

About the IIC

The IIC is a multilateral financial institution that is a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group. The IIC’s mission is to promote the economic development of its regional member countries by encouraging the establishment, expansion, and modernization of private enterprises, particularly those that are small and medium in size. It does so by providing financing (in the form of equity investments, loans, guarantees, and other instruments) and advisory services to private enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean. As of September 2011, the IIC’s equity totaled US$799 million, with US$1.44 billion in assets, US$987 million of which make up its development portfolio in the region. For more information on the IIC’s activities, visit www.iic.org.

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