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California Small Business Uses Ex-Im Bank Working Capital Guarantee To Export Its Metals-Processing Equipment to China

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 8, 2007

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Linda Formella (202) 565-3200

Retech

Retech Systems LLC, a small business located in Ukiah, Calif., is using a $20 million working capital guarantee from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) to export its metals-processing equipment to Shanghai Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. of China. The company is the market leader in sales of large-scale electron-beam and plasma systems. The equipment being exported to China (similar to Retech's cold-hearth furnace pictured above) will be used to increase titanium production for China's domestic market. Photo courtesy of Retech Systems LLC.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Retech Systems LLC, a small business located in Ukiah, Calif., that is one of the world's premier manufacturers of advanced thermal-processing equipment, will use a $20 million working capital loan guarantee from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) to export its metals-processing equipment to Shanghai Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. of China. The working capital guarantee was approved yesterday by Ex-Im Bank's board of directors.

The guaranteed lender, United Commercial Bank of San Francisco, is providing the loan facility to support three export contracts of Retech Systems with Baoshan. The equipment will be used to increase titanium production for China's domestic market.

Ex-Im Bank is pleased to assist Retech Systems in fulfilling these important contracts with a major Chinese company, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President James H. Lambright. We are committed to helping U.S. companies, especially small businesses, tap the tremendous export sales opportunities to be found in China.

Over the past five years that Retech has been working with Ex-Im Bank, the Bank has assisted us on contracts all over the world that have a total value of over $55 million. This support has enabled us to maintain our leadership position in these markets and create jobs in rural Mendocino County. It is inconceivable that we could have done it without Ex-Im Bank, said Retech Systems President Jim Goltz.

For the three Baoshan contracts, Retech Systems will manufacture an electron-beam furnace, a plasma-arc melting furnace and a plasma welder. The equipment will be used to produce titanium ingots, which will be used to manufacture products for a wide range of industries. Titanium is a metal valued for its strength, light weight, and corrosion and heat resistance.

Retech Systems will receive advance and milestone payments from Baoshan during the equipment-manufacturing period. The Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed loan facility from United Commercial Bank will be used primarily to enable Retech to issue standby letters of credit to Baoshan as prepayment guarantees. The loan facility will also be used by Retech Systems for other working capital needs related to the Baoshan contracts.

Retech Systems LLC has been developing and manufacturing custom-designed processing equipment for the titanium and specialty-metals industries since 1963. The company currently is the market leader in sales of large-scale electron-beam and plasma systems. Export sales account for more than 50 percent of the company's total sales volume. Retech Systems has exported its products to 16 international markets. The company recently expanded its workforce to 100 employees, most of whom are engaged at its manufacturing plant in Ukiah, Calif.

United Commercial Bank, a subsidiary of UCBH Holdings Inc., is one of the largest banks in the United States that has expertise in serving the Asian-American community and facilitating U.S. trade with China and the Pacific Rim. The bank, headquartered in San Francisco, specializes in providing commercial banking services to small and medium-sized businesses in a variety of industries.

Ex-Im Bank's Working Capital Guarantee Program is an asset-based lending program for U.S. exporters that guarantees working capital loans based on inventory and accounts receivable related to exports. Ex-Im Bank guarantees 90 percent of the working capital loan, including principal and interest. The guarantee can cover either a single loan or a revolving line of credit that can support several export transactions.

In fiscal year 2006, Ex-Im Bank authorized nearly $1.2 billon - a record level - in working capital financing. Almost 89 percent of the total number of Ex-Im Bank's working capital transactions in fiscal year 2006 supported U.S. small businesses.

U.S. exporters who would like to learn more about Ex-Im Bank's financing solutions may call 1-800-565-EXIM (3946) and select option 2 to contact a trade finance specialist at the nearest Ex-Im Bank regional office.

Ex-Im Bank, the official export-credit agency of the United States, is in its 73rd year of assisting in the financing of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export-credit insurance and direct loans. In fiscal year 2006, Ex-Im Bank authorized more than $12.1 billion, including nearly $3.2 billion for small-business authorizations, to support an estimated $16.1 billion of U.S. exports. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.