4 April 2012 – The IFC and the IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean (ALAC) fund have agreed to invest about US$20 million in Rialto Energy to support the expansion of the company’s oil and gas exploration work in Côte d’Ivoire and help provide future natural gas for the country’s power sector.

IFC and the IFC ALAC Fund are investing US$10 million each. Additionally, they each have the option to invest up to US$8 million during the next four years. The investments will support Rialto in the exploration in the CI-202 offshore oil and gas block off the coast of the Grand Bassam region of Cote d’Ivoire.

Côte d’Ivoire has the potential for significant hydrocarbon resources but development of the oil and gas sector has been hampered by political and military crises during the past decade. Once developed, hydrocarbon production from Rialto’s operations will help address the current and projected gas shortages that are preventing growth in the country’s power sector.  

“We believe Rialto has the leadership and resources to provide Côte d’Ivoire with long-term inputs for its domestic energy production,” Lance Crist, IFC global head for oil and gas says. “This investment aligns with our strategy to support Côte d’Ivoire’s private sector in creating jobs, generating government revenues, and building infrastructure.”

Sujoy Bose, chief investment officer and head of the IFC ALAC Fund adds, “This investment reflects the fund’s strategy to support strong companies operating in rapidly growing sectors. We look forward to partnering with Rialto in their offshore Cote d’Ivoire projects, one of the most promising and least developed oil and gas regions within West Africa.”