The European Investment Bank is providing a USD 14.4 million (some EUR 16.6 million) (1) loan to Rayén Curá S.A. to expand the production capacity of its existing plant located in Guayllamen, in the Argentinean Province of Mendoza.

The new facility will produce glass containers for food and beverages. It will help to satisfy the existing demand for glass containers, which is presently two times the installed capacity in the region. Cost reductions will improve the competitiveness of the regional agri-food-food industry and glass recycling will have a positive effect on the environment. 

Rayén Curá S.A. started its activities in 1947. It belongs (60%) to the French Saint Gobain Group since 1998, through VICASA S.A. a subsidiary of the Spanish Cristalería Española, and (40%) to Cristalerías de Chile, one of the main private companies of Chile, founded in 1904.

The 6 year EIB loan is guaranteed by Société des Participations Financières et Industrielles, the main European subsidiary of the Compagnie de Saint Gobain S.A. France and by a syndicate of banks.

The loan is provided in the context of the EU co-operation policy with third countries. In Asia and Latin America (ALA), the EIB may lend up to EUR 2.48 billion during 2000-2006 to support capital investment projects implemented by subsidiaries of EU companies or joint-ventures between EU and ALA firms, or investment that results in environmental improvements or fosters regional integration.

The EIB was set up in 1958 to finance investment furthering EU integration. It lends for regional development, infrastructure, energy, industry and environment. Outside the EU, the Bank contributes to the European development co-operation policy in some 130 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean region, Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, Asia and Latin America.

In 1999, the EIB provided loans totalling some EUR 32 billion, of which EUR 4 billion for projects outside the EU. The Bank borrows on the capital markets the funds for its lending. Its bonds have regularly been rated "AAA" by the leading rating agencies. The EIB works on a non-profit basis and can pass on to project promoters the excellent conditions it obtains on the markets. The EIB may finance up to 50 percent of project cost. On average it provides one third of the funding and co-finances investments with other institutions. 

(1) 1 EUR = 0.8908 USD; 0.6137 GBP