The EBRD is providing a US$ 25 million loan to the Egyptian copper rods manufacturer United Metals Company (UMC) to support the company’s working capital.
UMC is a subsidiary of Elsewedy Electric, one of the largest cable and electrical product manufacturers in the Middle East and Africa, operating out of 30 production facilities in 14 different countries. UMC, established in 1998, is one of the leading high quality copper rod producers in Egypt and North Africa. Copper rod manufacturing is an important industry for the Egyptian and the regional market, with export markets including Algeria, Ethiopia and Lebanon.
The EBRD loan will finance the working capital of UMC, including purchases of copper on the international markets. UMC will use some of the loan to implement a comprehensive environmental and social action plan which includes the purchase of modern equipment that will set new quality standards in Egypt’s wire and electrical products industry. The aim of this plan is to reduce dust emissions from 24 milligrams per cubic metre (mg/Nm3) to 2-5mg/Nm3 by the end of 2018.
Phil Bennett, EBRD First Vice President, said: “Supporting the development of the private sector in Egypt is one of the EBRD’s priorities. We are pleased to provide this important financing for the development of United Metals Company. Our loan addresses the financial as well as environmental challenges in a unique and innovative way.”
Ahmed El Sewedy, CEO of Elsewedy Electric, said: “We are very pleased to obtain this working capital financing from the EBRD. We hope this will be the start of a long-term relationship between the EBRD and Elsewedy Electric.”
The EBRD investment is in line with the Bank’s new transition concept, introduced at the beginning of 2017. The Bank argues that a well-functioning market economy should be competitive, well-governed, green, inclusive, resilient and integrated.
To date, the EBRD has invested over €2.3 billion in Egypt through 43 projects since the start of its activities in the country at the end of 2012. The Bank’s areas of investment include the financial sector, agribusiness, manufacturing and services, as well as infrastructure projects such as power, municipal water and wastewater services and support to transport services.