On March 28, 2012, MIGA issued a guarantee of $57 million covering an investment by Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) in Singapore to support investment into three wastewater treatment plants in China. The coverage is for a period of up to six years against the risk of expropriation.
The project involves the acquisition, expansion, and upgrading of three wastewater treatment plants in Hebei Province. These plants are held by Maxrise Envirogroup Ltd (Maxrise) in Hong Kong SAR, China, which is owned by two Singaporean companies. The total investment for the project is estimated at $93 million.
Wastewater treatment is a critical environmental issue in China especially in the second and third level cities such as Tangshan and Bazhou in Hebei Province. Limited wastewater treatment capacity and the low grade of treated wastewater are major challenges for these cities and have significant public health implications. The project is part of the local governments’ plan to expand wastewater treatment capacity and upgrade the quality of treated water. By introducing two international professional and experienced wastewater treatment companies, the project will be able to significantly improve its plants in these cities by increasing their treatment capacity and upgrading their water quality.
The project is aligned with the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy for China, which calls for the use of MIGA guarantees to support infrastructure development through foreign direct investment. This project is also aligned with MIGA’s strategic priorities of supporting South-South investments and complex infrastructure projects.