Ecuadorean Aquaculture Project To Receive IIC Funding


The project's environmental upgrades and biosecurity component will have a demonstration effect on the overall direction of traditional shrimp farming in Ecuador and other Latin American countries on the Pacific Coast WASHINGTON, D.C. - On December 1, 2000, the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC)1 approved a seven-year A loan of $6 million and a nine-year income participating C loan of $2 million to El Rosario S.A. (ERSA)/Camarones Humboldt Panama S.A. in Guayaquil, Ecuador. El Rosario S.A. is a vertically integrated operation dedicated to farming, processing and export of shrimp. Both ERSA and Camarones Humboldt will be coborrowers of the IIC loans.

The $37 million aquaculture project consists of an expansion of El Rosario shrimp farm operation from 3,796 net hectares to 4,196 net hectares of grow-out and nursery ponds in response to the growing demand for aquaculture products. It also provides for a biosecurity program that will enable ERSA to better address disease risk and overall productivity, improve production efficiency, and make environmental upgrades in its processing plants. The biosecurity program will allow the Company to develop a breed for disease resistance in the larval rearing facilities, screen diseases with Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology, and rehabilitate ponds to improve water quality through chlorination and recirculation. The expansion component of the project will allow ERSA to increase reliance on its own raw shrimp supply, improve survival rates, and achieve better quality control. ERSA will also be able to take advantage of economies of scale and vertical integration in the current business structure by increasing capacity utilization of its hatcheries, and processing and feedmill plants.

The IIC's investment will also support sponsors with a solid track record in social programs. ERSA created the El Rosario Foundation, which has been involved in mangrove planting and contributed to the construction of a school and police station. ERSA also provides potable water for a community of 300 people in the rural town of La Tola in the Province of Esmeraldas.

The investment funds are expected to help create 240 direct and 960 indirect jobs, and around US$87 million in export earnings and contribute US$79 million to the Ecuadorian economy.

1 The Inter-American Investment Corporation is a multilateral financial institution that is part of the Inter-American Development Bank Group. It provides financing (in the form of equity investments, loans, guarantees, and other instruments) and advisory services to private enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IIC's mission is to promote the economic development of its regional borrowing member countries by stimulating the establishment, expansion, and modernization of private enterprises, particularly those that are small and medium in size. The IIC has thirty-six member countries: twenty-five in Latin America and the Caribbean and eight in Europe, plus the United States, Japan, and Israel. For further information on IIC's activities please contact Mr. Jorge Roldán at 202-623-3948.

Contact: Steven Reed

Telephone: (202) 623-3981