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ADB Supports Natural Gas Distribution in China

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), along with 12 commercial banks, will provide China Gas Group with US$150 million to finance the country's new natural gas distribution projects, said ADB's Beijing office on Tuesday.


"This is the first time the ADB has supported such projects in China and provided the country with a long-term local currency debt financing arrangement," said Robert Bestani, director general of the ADB's Private Sector Operations Department.


The financial package includes an equity investment of US$25 million, a loan of US$50 million from the ADB and US$75 million from 12 commercial banks.


The 12 commercial banks - including the Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd., the CITIC Ka Wah Bank, the Bank of Overseas Chinese and the Kookmin Bank - will share the benefits of ADB's preferred creditor status.


The funds will be used to finance a series of new natural gas distribution infrastructure projects in Chinese cities through joint ventures with local governments and state-owned enterprises, according to the ADB.


"With a strengthened capital foundation and greater financing flexibility, China Gas will capture a larger market share and better contribute to China's energy reforms," said Liu Ming Hui, the company's managing director.


The ADB said the project was in line with China's policy to encourage the private sector to participate in the natural gas distribution sector and would help protect the environment by promoting the use of natural gas and reducing pollution.


(Xinhua News Agency February 14, 2007)

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