The World Bank's investment arm, International Finance Corporation (IFC), has invested $375m in the Nigeria-based Indorama Eleme Fertilizer Company, in order to support the expansion of the country's largest fertiliser production plant.
The backing, which also supports South-South investment into Africa, is expected to improve farm yields and agricultural productivity that is critical to the West African country's long-term food security.
The $1.2bn project will involve the construction and operation of a nitrogenous fertiliser facility at Eleme's existing petrochemicals site in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, as well as the development of an 84km pipeline from the gas supplier's plants.
Eleme chief executive officer Manish Mundra said IFC's support for the project has helped to provide direct financing and mobilise significantly more to commence the company's fertiliser operations.
"With a growing population and limited available arable land, fertilisers are increasingly important to improving crop yield and food supply in Nigeria," Mundra added.
The finance corporation, which signed a loan for $150m, has mobilised another $75m through a syndicated B loan with the Bank of India and an additional $150m in parallel loans from other development finance institutions.
IFC Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services senior manager Carsten Mueller said: "IFC's investment in Indorama Eleme Fertilizer adds value and makes use of existing natural resources, helping Nigeria expand its manufacturing base while improving food security."
In 2007, IFC supported Indonesia-based Indorama in its premier investment in Nigeria through its subsidiary, Indorama Eleme Petrochemicals Company.