FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 13, 2009
Linda Formella (202) 565-3200
WASHINGTON, D.C.: U.S. exports to renewable-energy, water and nuclear-power projects are now eligible for a maximum repayment term of up to 18 years under export financing provided by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). The new maximum term is available for these transactions approved on or after July 1, 2009.
The longer repayment term may be applied to Ex-Im Bank's direct-loan or loan-guarantee financing in accord with agreements of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that permits export-credit agencies of OECD countries to offer enhanced terms for renewable-energy, water and nuclear-power projects. Financing for these projects is also eligible for more flexible definitions of repayment schedules. A revised fixed-interest rate regime applies to the longer loan durations. The changes are in effect until 2013, when the agreements are scheduled to be reviewed and revised.
The OECD recently extended the maximum repayment term from 15 to 18 years and adopted the other changes to facilitate financing to these types of projects, which are associated with higher capital costs. Hydropower and nuclear-power projects also have longer construction periods than projects employing more conventional technologies.
The 18-year and flexible repayment terms offer greater financing flexibility for U.S. exporters of goods and services to renewable-energy, water and nuclear-power projects, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. The new terms provide incentives and will help to make these projects more competitive and enable us to support more American jobs in these industries.
The changes apply to financing for U.S. exports to the following renewable-energy projects: wind, solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, hydroelectric, geothermal, ocean thermal, tidal and tidal-stream power, wave power and bio-energy. Also eligible are U.S. exports associated with the following types of water projects: treatment and distribution of drinking water for human consumption, collection and treatment of residential and industrial wastewater, water recycling and treatment of water-related sludge.
U.S. exports related to new nuclear-power projects are eligible for the same terms. Eligible exports include all components, equipment materials and services, including the training of personnel, directly required for the construction and commissioning of nuclear-power stations. Exports for modernization of existing nuclear-power plants are also eligible in cases where the economic life of the plant is likely to be extended by at least the repayment period.
Ex-Im Bank created its Office of Renewable Energy and Environmental Exports in 2007 to conduct proactive outreach to U.S. exporters of renewable-energy technologies and other environmentally beneficial goods and services. The Bank's Environmental Exports Program has supported more than $3 billion of U.S. environmentally beneficial exports since its inception in 1994.
In fiscal year 2008, Ex-Im Bank authorized a total of $14.4 billion in financing to support an estimated $19.6 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. The Bank authorized $227 million, including more than $30 million for renewable-energy exports, to support an estimated $434 million of U.S. exports of environmentally beneficial goods and services.