AIIB finishes year on a bang!
25 January 2017
December 2016 was a busy month for AIIB‘s management and staff!
The Bank celebrated its one year anniversary on 25 December 2016 having achieved significant milestones within its first 12 months of operations: the approval of nine project loans totalling USD1.70 billion across mainly the transport and energy sectors; and the establishment of a headquarters and continued build-up of capacity to support the AIIB’s expanding operations.
The Board of Director (BoD) held its fifth quarterly meeting in Beijing on 8-9 December and a then virtual meeting on 21 December. A significant number of critical bank policies and three new transactions were reviewed and approved December 2016.
In Beijing, the BoD approved two transport sector investments totalling USD272 million for the Sultanate of Oman. The Bank approved US$36 million loan for the Railway System Preparation Project for prepatory work for the construction of a new railway system network providing passenger and freight connectivity across Oman’s major cities and deep-water ports. The Bank also invested USD $236 million to fund civil works to improve efficiencies at the deep-water Port of Duqm in the context of the including Duqm Special Economic Zone through strengthening logistic services, reduce supply chain delivery times and costs. The investment will give Oman more opportunities to diversify its economy and generate greater economic benefits for itself, its neighbours and region.
The Board received updates from the Policy and Strategy Committee, chaired by Australia’s Director Mr Chris Legg, and from the Budget and Human Resources Committee chair Mr Nikolai Putscher. The Board deliberated and approved a number of proposed Bank policies that will guide Bank operations.
One such policy being developed is the Bank’s Energy Sector Strategy which has just concluded its initial public consultation. The Board was pleased with the strong global stakeholder engagement, and a summary of the wide ranging views was presented to the Board for consideration. The Board agreed that a revised Draft Energy Sector Strategy paper would be circulated in late January 2017 for the next round of public consultation.
Subsequent to the Beijing meeting, the Board held a virtual meeting in which the TANAP gas pipeline project was approved. The Bank’s SD600 million investment in the Azerbaijani energy sector will allow transportation of natural gas from the Caspian Sea, across Turkey and into southern Europe. This World Bank (USD800 million) co-financed project will enhance energy security for southern Europe. TANAP’s importance for Azerbaijan and the region is significant and is reflected in the significant government and private sector investment in TANAP, as well as consideration from other multilateral development banks.