(Ecofin Agency) - This is the institution's first loan for sustainable investments in the African building materials sector. Several commercial banks participated in the operation and will provide additional resources in local currency.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced Monday, a €242 million (about $256.6 million) loan to Sococim Industries, the Senegalese subsidiary of French cement group Vicat. The funds will be invested in the production of low-carbon cement, with the aim of contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, while preserving cement qualities and properties.
For Guy Sidos, Vicat's Chief Executive Officer, the law will help build a cleaner and more efficient cement industry in Africa. Sococim plans to use the majority of this resource to replace part of its clinker production lines with a new, more fuel-efficient one.
For this operation, IFC provided €120 million while the remaining €122 million will be provided in local currency by a group of banks including Société Générale Sénégal, CBAO (Attijariwafa Bank Group Banque Internationale pour le commerce et l'industrie du Sénégal and Ecobank Senegal.
This is the first IFC loan for investments in sustainable construction materials manufacturing in Africa but, the institution has been supporting Vicat’s investments in Senegal and other countries since 2007.
According to a December 2022 note from Senegal's National Statistics and Demography Agency, construction sector revenues grew by 2.5% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2022, with a sustained contribution from the building and civil engineering sub-sector. But, for the authorities, there is a need to address the environmental challenges that have been identified in the sector.