US loans fueled insider deal, failed power plan in Liberia


BUCHANAN, Liberia — The auburn-red soil and lush green vegetation lured the foreign investors to Liberia's third-largest city with visions of environmental gold.

They formed a company, Buchanan Renewables, and set anchor, crafting a plan to convert swaths of rubber trees into biomass chips that would power the impoverished nation and fuel their own profits.

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a little known U.S. government agency 4,700 miles away, backed the venture with $217 million in loan approvals from 2008 to 2011. READ MORE OF THIS STORY

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