UK markets open in 31 minutes
  • NIKKEI 225

    26,423.47
    +269.66 (+1.03%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    21,847.73
    +17.38 (+0.08%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    110.00
    +1.57 (+1.45%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,810.90
    +9.40 (+0.52%)
     
  • DOW

    31,097.26
    +321.86 (+1.05%)
     
  • BTC-GBP

    16,815.33
    +933.87 (+5.88%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    443.15
    +23.01 (+5.48%)
     
  • ^IXIC

    11,127.84
    +99.14 (+0.90%)
     
  • ^FTAS

    3,967.61
    +27.58 (+0.70%)
     

Argentina energy firm Axion to invest $1.5 bln to expand plant - finmin

(Adds details on IFC financing for Axion plant expansion)

BUENOS AIRES, May 24 (Reuters) - Argentine energy firm Axion Energy, partially owned by China's CNOOC Ltd (HKSE: 0883.HK - news) , will invest $1.5 billion to expand a local refinery, Argentina's Finance Minister Alfonso Prat-Gay said on Tuesday.

The International Finance Corporation, the private sector lending arm of the World Bank, will provide financing of $378 million for the project, which is expected to create some 1,600 jobs in its construction phase, Prat-Gay said.

The investment, which was reported this month by Project Finance International, a Thomson Reuters (Dusseldorf: TOC.DU - news) publication, is aimed at upgrading refining capacity at the Campana Refinery, which is located about 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of Buenos Aires.

The financing package consists of an eight-year, $78 million loan from the IFC and a $300 million loan raised by IFC from several commercial banks, including ICBC (HKSE: 1398-OL.HK - news) , BBVA (LSE: 931474.L - news) , Credit Agricole (Swiss: ACA.SW - news) and Citibank.

Axion, which is partially owned by private Argentine oil and gas company Bridas Corporation, has already invested around $600 million towards upgrades for the refinery since 2013.

President Mauricio Macri took office in December promising to reboot Latin America's third-largest economy after more than a decade of interventionist Peronist policies which fueled high inflation, weak growth and a yawning fiscal deficit.

IFC has committed over $1.3 billion to financing projects in Argentina over the past 12 months, becoming the largest international source of financing to the country's private sector during this period.

In a separate statement, consumer goods giant Unilever (Amsterdam: UZ8.AS - news) said it plans to invest 4.82 billion pesos ($343.53 million) from 2016 to 2019 to boost capacity at its local factories. ($1 = 14.0310 Argentine pesos) (Reporting by Maximiliano Rizzi, Nicolas Misculin, and Anthony Esposito; Writing by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Bernard Orr and Alan Crosby)

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting