14 December 2012

Africa: U.S. State Department Daily Press Briefing: OPIC Investments


Washington, DC — Excerpt from the United States Department of State daily press briefing:

MS. NULAND: All right. I first walked in and the whole room was filled. I thought we had about 30 new journalists, but they're far too fresh-faced and energetic to be representatives of the Fourth Estate. So welcome to our State Department interns back there.

QUESTION: I'll take that as a personal insult.

MS. NULAND: Exactly, exactly. Let's rumble. (Laughter.) Happy Wednesday, everyone.

I want to, before we start, just commend the OPIC Board of Directors for approving two major projects in Africa totaling some $400 million. These are actually both pretty cool. This first one is called Greenpark and it includes a $250 million loan to fund a nitrogen fertilizer facility in Nigeria. It is going to use gas captured from a gas field nearby, thereby helping with greenhouse gas emissions, and it's going to provide a reliable and secure source of low-cost fertilizer and nearly a thousand construction jobs and projects around the area, 500 of them direct and the rest around the country.

The second project is called Amethis and it's a new investment fund which the - which OPIC is anchoring with a $150 million loan that's going to provide loans to borrowers in agriculture, infrastructure, energy, and financial services across Africa. This is long-term financing for regional companies that are working on projects that cross borders, adding to the interconnections among African countries, something that has been a priority of the Secretary's.

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