Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, November 15, 2006 — The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, launched a study on private sector opportunities in Mongolia’s oil, gas, and chemicals sector on November 15, 2006. The study, funded by the Swedish government, will evaluate prospects and challenges for private companies to develop and diversify the country’s energy market. It will also assess the viability of clean fuel alternatives that would reduce pollution and lower the consumption of energy.
“We hope to help Mongolia address its energy security concerns and improve health and environmental issues by promoting sustainable clean energy,” said Rashad Kaldany, IFC’s Director for Oil, Gas, Mining, and Chemicals. “Our plan is to follow up on the results of the study with targeted support for private sector investments in the sector.”
This study will analyze market trends to assess opportunities and challenges for Mongolia to develop and diversify its energy sector. It will also assess the viability of new technologies. Clean fuel alternatives could potentially replace heavily polluting solid fuels, which place a significant health and environmental burden on the country. The study will also support Mongolia’s objective of achieving a more sustainable foreign trade balance, since imported petroleum products account for much of the county’s external debt. The increasing consumption of imported petroleum is also raising concerns about the country’s energy security.
“We are very excited about this study. Mongolia is an important country where IFC would like to make a difference. We are committed to supporting its move towards diversifying its energy sources and adopting clean fuel alternatives,” said Richard Ranken, IFC’s Director for East Asia and the Pacific.
The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral provider of financing for private enterprise in developing countries. IFC finances private sector investments, mobilizes capital in international financial markets, facilitates trade, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to businesses and governments. From its founding in 1956 through FY06, IFC has committed more than $56 billion of its own funds for private sector investments in the developing world and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. With the support of funding from donors, it has also provided more than $1 billion in technical assistance and advisory services.