The International Financial Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, announced on Tuesday that it has provided the UAE-based BCI Holding SA Group — a leading regional manufacturer and distributor of polyurethane (PU) raw materials, systems, and specialities that’s headquartered in the UAE — with a $30 million loan.
The loan aims to help the group to further expand its production in Algeria, Egypt, and Nigeria, creating hundreds of direct and indirect jobs, according to the IFC.
The loan will also support the group’s expansion of its existing production facility in Egypt and the commissioning of new factories in Algeria and Nigeria, helping it to develop regional supply chains for PU, a versatile product used in insulation, footwear, packaging, and other industries, said the IFC.
“BCI’s signature technology — used to convert recycled scrap PET into polyester polyol for insulation — has the potential to support circular economy initiatives, which are aimed to build resilience, generate business and economic opportunities, and provide environmental and societal benefits,” the IFC explained.
It added that expansion of the production facility in Egypt and building two additional factories in Algeria and Nigeria is projected to create more than 80 direct jobs and several hundred indirect ones in the supply chain and through the employment multiplier effect.
“Our group has been able to survive and prosper over the past 64 years, despite the challenges in the region, primarily due to our commitment to a holistic view of what constitutes a true positive bottom line. Businesses we invest in and develop must not only be economically feasible, but also socially beneficial and environmentally friendly,” said Ihsan Baalbaki, the founder and chairman of the company.
He added that the capacity of the PU industry to create meaningful and sustainable job opportunities and add to Middle Eastern industries’ local content capabilities explains why BCI continues to invest passionately in it.
“With the right financing and support, private businesses like BCI Holding SA can create much-needed jobs and drive a green and resilient economic recovery from COVID-19, which has had a profound impact on the Middle East and Africa,” said Ashraf Megahed, the IFC’s regional industry manager for manufacturing, agribusiness, and services in the Middle East and North Africa.
The IFC said that its partnership with BCI Holding SA is part of its strategy to combat poverty and create jobs by supporting the growth of the private sector in the Middle East and Africa region.
With new factories across Africa, the project will also help strengthen regional integration, technology transfer, and the development of regional supply chains, according to the IFC.
The Baalbaki family has been active in industry, trade, and agriculture since the late 1800’s.
The family’s businesses centre on commodity trading and textiles, with a geographic focus on the Middle East.