ASEAN Ambassadors' Breakfast on East Asia Energy Partnership
Fred P. Hochberg, Chairman and President
Jan 16, 2013 – Washington, D.C.
Thank you, Director Patricia Loui, for organizing this event - but more important for helping to expand the Bank's portfolio in Southeast Asia - one of the most exciting regions of the world for future growth.
We've had a steady flow of new authorizations in recent years - and total exposure of around $5 billion - with a potential for growth that is just waiting for our renewed efforts.
Pat has lived and worked in just about every major Asian-Pacific country - in both the public and private sector - and as a Director of the Export-Import Bank has been tireless in pursuing new opportunities that benefit both U.S. exporters and your countries.
And I want to thank our guests for taking time from your busy schedules to attend this breakfast.We're here to listen to your ideas and concerns, and not just to tell our story.
I've spent a lot of time in Asia in the last four years.I've seen firsthand the dynamism and ambitions of the ASEAN economies - and the huge scale of your energy needs.In a recent report, Woods MacKenzie predicted that investments of at least $125 billion would be needed to meet increased energy demand by 2020.
The Export-Import Bank wants to be part of this undertaking - using strategic investments in new energy technologies to help develop sustainable energy solutions in your countries.
This not only involves the right technologies - but also the highest possible participation by local business enterprises and technical staff.Long-term sustainability requires such participation at the earliest stages of these projects - and that's one of the Bank's goals.
The Bank has deep experience in pulling together public-private partnerships in energy development and can help make those happen here.
These partnerships are indispensable in developing truly sustainable energy solutions.
I want to mention two recent examples of the Bank's approach to energy partnerships - our role in South African Eskom's Kusile Power Station - and our role in India's National Solar Mission to establish that nation as world leader in solar energy.
On my trip to South Africa in August, I got to see how important this project is to the nation's energy future.It not only will significantly add urgently-needed electrical supplies for their booming economy - it incorporates advanced emission abatement technologies to minimize pollution effects.
Just as important are Kusile's benefits to local businesses and workers.
Our financing enables Eskom to use the engineering services of Black & Veatch - and supports 300 U.S. jobs.But In keeping with Ex-Im's commitment to local economies, we expect a major impact on employment of South Africans.We estimate a direct impact of over 22,000 local jobs to build, operate and supply the new power plant.
That is 22,000 families supported by these jobs - people who now can be or remain part of the global middle class and fully participate in global market economies as both producers and consumers - many thousands of them for the first time ever.
And that doesn't include the jobs impact of now-reliable supplies of electricity to power the South African economy.
Besides the Kusile project, we signed a declaration of intent with the Industrial Development Corp. of South Africa to finance up to $2 billion of U.S. energy equipment and services to help them reach a goal of 40 percent renewables by 2030.
Our involvement with India's National Solar Mission grew out of a $5 billion, five-year memorandum of understanding the Bank signed with Reliance Power that is financing both gas-fired generation and solar power.
It has already produced several major solar projects of all sizes, ranging from solar thermal facilities to wind turbine farms to take advantage of India's abundant sunshine and wind.More important, we can expect the plan to generate an array of creative proposals, drawing on the best efforts of Indian entrepreneurs and engineers.
For example, in two transactions, the Bank helped finance Azure Power, India's first megawatt-scale solar project.Uniquely, the Azure project connects its solar plants to the national grid - supplying power to 20,000 people in 32 villages in the Punjab.
Not only that, it supports some 600 local construction jobs and another 200 to operate the system.American exporters will benefit, but the Indian economy will be the primary beneficiary - or I should say the 400 million Indians with no access to electricity will benefit.
I cite these examples as possible future partnering for the Export-Import and
ASEAN members.As we announced in November, the Bank can make available up to $5 billion in export financing over the next four years, as part of President Obama's U.S.-Asia Pacific Partnership for a Sustainable Energy Future.
The Bank's financing would increase access to U.S. technology and services to expand state-of-the-art energy infrastructure in your countries.
Well, as you may conclude by now, I'm enthusiastic about our future relationship.
I want to assure you that the Export-Import Bank is open for business and excited to explore new opportunities in the months ahead.
I hope our brief time together today will lead to many of those.