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IFC launches blue loan to fight marine pollution; maiden USD 300 mn loan goes to Indorama

·3-min read

Mumbai, Nov 25 (PTI) The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has extended its maiden blue loan worth USD 300 million to Thailand-based Indorama Ventures, a leading plastic resin manufacturer, to fight marine pollution in Asia and Latin America.

Indorama, founded by NRI businessman Aloke Lohia in 1994 in Bangkok, will utilise the loan to recycle 50 billion PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles globally annually by 2025, with focus on Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, and Brazil.

These are the countries grappling with mismanaged waste and serious plastic waste in the environment, a statement said.

The financing package comprises a USD 150 million senior loan from IFC and an equal amount from the Asian Development Bank and the Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft.

A portion of the loan will also be invested in renewable energy and resource efficiency projects, the member of the World Bank Group said in the statement on Wednesday.

The main project is to divert plastic waste from landfills and the oceans by recycling them soon after consumer use, it added.

'The landmark USD 300-million funding will help Indorama Ventures Global Services, an arm of Indorama Ventures Public Company, increase its recycling capacity in Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, and Brazil and also invest more in renewable energy and resource efficiency projects.

'This marks our first blue loan exclusively focused on addressing marine plastic pollution,' the IFC said.

A blue loan is an innovative instrument whereby the funds raised are certified and tracked exclusively for projects that support a blue economy by sustainable use of ocean resources for growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health, the IFC said.

'We are honored to receive the first blue loan from the IFC. We are building recycling infrastructure to divert waste from the marine environment. By recycling PET bottles into new bottles, we give waste an economic value,' Yashovardhan Lohia, chief sustainability officer at Indorama Ventures, was quoted as saying in the statement.

Indorama Ventures is aiming for a minimum of 7,50,000 metric tons of recycled PET globally by 2025, he added.

A key feature of the project is to create value out of waste by processing post-consumer PET bottles that would have otherwise ended up in landfill or in the oceans or been processed into lower-value products, by promoting higher-value bottle-to-bottle recycling.

'We are pleased to work with Indorama to develop scalable solutions to one of the most pervasive and visible issues threatening life under water,' said Alfonso Garcia Mora, IFC vice president for Asia and Pacific.

'This blue loan complements our ongoing work on a circular economy for plastics and enhanced waste management in Asia. It demonstrates that recycling can be an effective intervention to address plastic waste while supporting our overall sustainability and climate change agenda,' Mora added.

Besides helping the borrower increase recycling capacities in the target countries, the loan will also help it invest in other climate-related activities such as installing more solar panels at its plants in in Thailand and India.

With this IFC financing, Indorama is working on a waste heat recovery project at its PET and fibre manufacturing facility in Indonesia which is expected to reduce the plant's carbon footprint by 25 per cent, the statement said. PTI BEN RVK