Lebanese firm to launch infrastructure investment vehicle

Lebanon Infrastructure Fund will be the first of its kind in the country

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FFA Private Bank, a Lebanese investment firm, has announced that it is ready to launch a structured investment vehicle that will channel the country’s investments in infrastructure projects and the power sector.

The Lebanon Infrastructure Fund is the first-of-its-kind in the country, and it is ‘very advanced in terms of financial sophistication’, chairman Jean Riachi said. He added that the initial objective was to reach $1 billion of investments in the short-to-medium term over the next two to three years.

The fund will mainly focus on solar, wind and hydraulic power projects, besides waste-to-energy projects and waste treatment projects, he said in an interview with The Daily Star, a local newspaper.

The financing could come in a variety of shapes, such as debt or equity financing, while it could also include bonds, bank loans and vendor financing, he added.

Furthermore, the funding could also be in the form of multilateral financing obtained from international organisations such as the International Finance Organisation, the German state-owned development bank KfW and the French development-financing institution, Proparco.

Iyad Boustany, the manging director and head of Corporate and Investement Banking at FFA, added that the bank’s job is to provide the structure or the sponsor.

He pointed out that FFA was looking at a number of infrastructure projects at the moment, with renewable energy being of particular focus.

Boustancy said that Lebanon has a reasonable wind potential, especially in the district of Akkar in north Lebanon. There are currently three projects under final review with the cabinet, each with an average capacity of 70MW.

All three projects are in the $100-150 million range, while they are all located in the same area and are likely to represent 100% of the wind-farm sector in Lebanon, he added.


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