The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has arranged for a first loan worth $170m to Egypt, directed to strengthen safety and environmental standards in the country’s energy sector.

According to an EBRD statement, $28m will support Advanced Energy Services (ADES), an independent Egyptian oil services company, which “applies the best environmental, health and safety (EHS) standards in the local oil and gas industry.”

The loan was arranged with cooperation between the EBRD and the Islamic Development Bank, the Arab International Bank, Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait, Credit Libanais S.A.L., Alex Bank, and the Federated Project and Trade Finance Core Fund.

EBRD stated that “the loan will be complemented by a comprehensive policy dialogue program to promote the adoption of health and safety standards across the wider oil and gas sector in Egypt.”  The goal of the effort is to increase safety, while Egypt seeks to increase its energy production. As a part of the agreement, ADES will also be tested for compliance with the industry’s highest safety standards through annual certification.

Dr. Mohamed Farouk, ADES Chief Executive Officer, said: “This syndication is instrumental to ADES’ growth plan by allowing us to refinance current debts, acquire new assets and provide the necessary working capital. Having these eight financiers as our lenders with more than 50 % of the money coming from overseas is testimony to ADES’ strategy and performance in the current tough market. This loan will enable us to remain the market leader for offshore drilling services in Egypt.”