The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (Apicorp), an energy-focused multilateral development financial institution, has partnered with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) to set up the Infra Initiative, a $1 billion private sector-focused infrastructure financing initiative.
The Infra Initiative’s funds will be used to finance strategic utility projects that contribute to human and economic development in the two multilateral financial institutions’ member countries and their respective national development strategies.
The two institutions will jointly identify and deliver structured finance facilities to utilities projects with limited access to international financing, said the statement from Apicorp.
The scope of Infra Initiative, which will launch for an initial period of 3 years, includes all OIC countries, with priority given to the 10 member countries common to the duo.
However, projects in other countries are also eligible provided they are sponsored by a company headquartered in one of the shared member states, it stated.
Under the Infra Initiative, funds will be allocated to electricity generation and transmission projects which utilize renewable energy or natural gas, as well as water and waste management facilities.
The involvement of the private sector at the local, regional, and international levels will also be a priority in the project selection process, it stated.
Through the Infra Initiative, the duo aims to address low private sector participation in funding energy projects by incentivizing public-private partnerships (PPPs) to bridge the estimated $200 billion investment gap in such projects in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member countries.
Additionally, the initiative aims to mobilize other financing channels from commercial banks, other multilateral development banks, development agencies, and the capital markets, it stated.
According to Apicorp’s 2021-2025 Mena Energy Investment Outlook, the share of private investments in regional energy projects is set to reach 27% by 2025, a threefold increase from the 8.5% in the 2020-2024 outlook.
IsDB’s President Dr Muhammad Al Jasser said: "We recognize that quality infrastructure is key to economic and social development. Hence, addressing the infrastructure needs of our member countries is one of IsDB’s foremost priorities."
"Our cooperation with Apicorp on the Infra Initiative is in this spirit. It is intended to amplify our impact by combining our two institutions’ resources, skill sets and market knowledge. It also supports our respective commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals – particularly goals 6, 7 and 9," he added.
Apicorp CEO Dr Ahmed Ali Attiga said: "Increasing private sector investments in the energy sector is a key area of focus for us as part of our strategy to fund the energy transition in the Arab region. It is an objective we shared with our partner, IsDB."
"Indeed, Apicorp has significantly raised the size of its financing and investments in pioneering companies and strategic projects which are shaping tomorrow’s energy landscape," he added.