BEIJING, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank has approved a loan of 600 million U.S. dollars to finance an energy project in Azerbaijan.
The decision was made by the bank's board of directors Wednesday.
The loan, the largest the bank has made, will be used to support construction of a natural gas pipeline from Azerbaijan through Turkey, known as the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project, the bank said Thursday.
Once completed the project will transport natural gas from fields in Azerbaijan into Turkey and then on to markets in southern Europe. The construction of the pipeline will create jobs in Azerbaijan and Turkey.
The bank is co-financing this project with a number of other multilateral development banks, including the World Bank Group and other commercial entities.
The approval brings the total amount lent by the bank in its first year to 1.73 billion U.S. dollars in nine infrastructure projects across seven countries.
The bank approved its first four loans, totalling 509 million dollars, in June. Three of the four loans were co-financing projects with multilateral development bank partners.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is a China-initiated multilateral bank founded Dec. 25, 2015.
"I am delighted and proud that the bank has managed to lend over 1.7 billion U.S. dollars in our inaugural year, capped off by the latest loan, which is our largest to date," AIIB President Jin Liqun said. "Thanks to the early steps we have taken, in future years, millions across Asia will experience an improvement in the quality of their lives."