IFC Targets China Gas Firms on Biggest Demand Growth

IFC Targets China Gas Firms  on Biggest Demand GrowthIFC Targets China Gas Firms  on Biggest Demand Growth

The World Bank’s private lending arm is targeting investments in natural gas companies in China, the largest growing market for the fuel. The International Finance Corp. is investing $150 million in gas distribution company China Tian Lun Gas Holdings Ltd. about two weeks after announcing a $300 million debt-financing deal for China Gas Holdings Ltd. Tian Lun Gas shares jumped the most on record, Bloomberg reported.

The IFC will probably invest in two to three other gas distributors in the nation in the “medium term,” according to Lance Crist, the IFC’s global head of oil and gas in Washington.

Chinese gas demand will more than triple from 2012 to 2040 as the nation seeks to diversify away from coal to reduce air pollution. Gas will account for 11 percent of the country’s primary energy demand in 2040 from 4 percent now, the International Energy Agency said in its 2014 World Energy Outlook report.

“Gas has traditionally been a very small part of the energy equation in the country, representing only about 5 percent of the energy supply,” Crist said. “The Chinese government itself is targeting to double that to around 10 percent over the next five years and frankly we would like to see it reach more like 15 to 20 percent in the next 25 years.”

Half of the funds for Tian Lun Gas will come from the IFC’s Global Infrastructure Fund, the first Asian deal by the $1.2 billion facility aimed at infrastructure projects in developing countries. The lender expects to provide a $60 million loan package for Hong Kong-listed Tian Lun Gas in the third quarter.

Tian Lun Gas rose 9.6 percent on Monday after earlier advancing as much as 24 percent, the biggest intraday gain since the shares started trading in November 2010.