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$5 Billion Preliminary Commitment Approved for Proposed U.S. Built Nuclear Plants in China

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 17, 2005

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

PHIL COGAN (202) 565-3200

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WASHINGTON, D.C. --- The board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) today approved a preliminary commitment request from Westinghouse Electric Company of Monroeville, Penn. for a combination of guaranteed and/or direct loans of up to almost $5 billion to support export sales to construct four nuclear power plants at two sites in the Peoples Republic of China.

Preliminary commitments may be converted to final commitments by vote of the Ex-Im Bank board of directors after an applicant has finalized its financing package and met other technical, legal and financial requirements. A preliminary commitment is a nonbinding expression of interest from Ex-Im Bank that indicates that the proposed transaction, as outlined in the application, is of the type that may qualify for Ex-Im Bank support. A further detailed examination of the proposed transaction would take place at the time of a final commitment application. Such an application would not be expected for a matter of months.

The nuclear equipment is proposed to be used in the Sanmen Nuclear Power Stations (Zhejiang Province, southwest of Shanghai) and the Yangjiang Nuclear Power Stations (Guangdong Province, southwest of Hong Kong) of mainland China. The nuclear power plants are being purchased to meet the increased demand for power in the heavily industrialized region of the country.

The preliminary commitment is being issued in conjunction with a bid by the exporters that will be delivered in response to a Request for Proposals issued by the Government of China. Westinghouse is proposing to utilize its groundbreaking AP1000 1000-megawatt pressurized water reactor design, which incorporates key passive safety and other features. Aggressive competition is expected from companies from other countries, along with the support of their respective governments.

Other U.S. suppliers in this transaction include Bechtel Power Corporation of San Francisco. Many of the sub-suppliers will be small businesses.

Ex-Im Bank this year marks its 71st year of helping finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2004, Ex-Im Bank, an independent federal agency, authorized financing to support approximately $17.8 billion in U.S. exports worldwide, a 25% jump from a year earlier. For more information on Ex-Im Bank visit //www.exim.gov. To receive news and information directly from Ex-Im Bank via e-mail, sign up at https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USEXIM/subscriber/new.