Organized jointly by PSLO Network members from Austria, Canada, France, the Netherlands, and Spain, in collaboration with the WBG, the three-day conference provided a platform for the 110 private sector participants to engage with International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and gain insights in their respective energy sector priorities, portfolios, and business opportunities. By bringing together energy companies from several countries, the mission also provided a unique opportunity for networking among participants with a view to collaboration and potential partnerships.
The WBG program was opened by Catherine Doody, International Affairs Officer and Manager of PSLO Network, with a short introduction to the WBG and the PSLO network. In providing an overview of the World Bank Procurement procedures, Chief Procurement Officer Enzo De Laurentiis emphasized the new Procurement Framework’s core principles: transparency, value for money, integrity, and efficiency, to support sustainable development outcomes. The Bank aims to take a fit for purpose approach, adapting procurements to fit the market and the local operating environment, and, where needed, provide hands-on help to our clients to deliver the best procurement results.
Underpinning the WBG’s strategy in the energy sector is the institution’s commitments to SDG 7 (Sustainable Energy for All), the WBG action plan on climate change, the guiding principles on maximizing financing for development (or infrastructure cascade) as well as energy commitments under IDA18. Lucio Monari, Director Energy and Extractives Global Practice, presented how the WB portfolio in the sector intends to deliver on these commitments and outlined the importance of harnessing technological developments to achieve energy goals.
Global Leads for the WBG Energy and Extractives Global Practice provided participants with more detailed information on energy subsectors including Energy Access, Clean Energy, Hydropower, and Transmission, which enabled companies to identify projects corresponding to their area of expertise.
Christopher Sheldon, Practice Manager of Energy and Extractives Global Practice, gave an overview of the World Bank Extractives portfolio and presented the Bank’s commitment to the “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” global initiative. The initiative currently has 71 endorsers (governments, oil companies and development institutions) who recognize the current gas flaring situation is unsustainable from a resource management and environmental perspective, and who agree to cooperate to eliminate routine flaring no later than 2030.
Tunc Alyanak, Senior Investment Officer of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), provided an overview of IFCs energy portfolio and opportunities for investors. Peter Mockel, Principal Industry Specialist, followed with an introduction on IFC’s Venture Capital Group with particular focus on their Clean Tech fund. Marcus Williams of Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) concluded the WBG program with information on how MIGA’s political risk insurance guarantees can bring added value to investors in the energy sector.
Evening receptions for the delegation, hosted by Business France and Manitoba Hydro International, provided additional opportunities for networking. Several follow-up initiatives are planned included a potential energy mission to Africa focused on business opportunities with IFIs.