June 7 - GAC has enjoyed a strategic investment from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, that allows the forwarder to acquire new ships to support offshore oil operations in a number of emerging markets.
The USD35 million loan to GAC will finance the group's purchase of up to six supply ships to support offshore oil rigs. Three will operate in Kazakhstan, while the others will operate in Africa and the Middle East.
Erland Ebbersten, GAC Group vice president for Europe, Africa, Mediterranean, Black and Caspian Sea, said: "GAC's expansion underlines the group's commitment to the Caspian region. We believe we can contribute significantly to development of the energy infrastructure in the Caspian, and we welcome IFC's support in making this meaningful task possible for us."
Kazakhstan has been unable to exploit its large reserves of oil and gas largely because of a lack of infrastructure, support services, and equipment. Financing for new ships and equipment has been difficult in the country and the wider region, as entry and exit costs are high, because the only route out of the area is frozen for up to six months of the year. The global financial crisis has exacerbated this challenge.