FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 24, 2012
J. Lawton King (202-565-3200)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - For the first time since 2008, the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has authorized a sovereign transaction - a $64.9 million, 12-year direct loan - to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to finance the design and construction of the Badulla, Haliela and Ella Integrated Water Supply System by Tetra Tech of Pasadena, Calif.
The transaction will support approximately 400 American jobs, according to U.S. government estimates, including those at Tetra Tech's design centers across the United States, particularly in Denver and Longmont, Colo.; Morris Plains, N. J.; Langhorne, Pa.; and Fairfax, Va.
The water-supply project will integrate new and rehabilitated treatment plants, storage tanks, pumping stations, a new dam and impoundment reservoir, new and existing water intake structures, nearly 50 kilometers of transmission pipeline, and more than 100 kilometers of distribution pipeline. Once in place, the water-supply system will help the government of Sri Lanka to realize its objective of providing safe drinking water to 85 percent of the population, in line with the United Nations Millennium Development goals.
Backed by Ex-Im Bank financing, Tetra Tech will design and build the Badulla, Haliela and Ella Integrated Water Supply System in Sri Lanka. (Photo courtesy of Tetra Tech)
Not only does this transaction stimulate U.S. job creation, but it also contributes directly to the quality of life in Sri Lanka, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. This project will bring potable water to thousands of those who need it, and that is a success.
According to Sri Lankan government estimates in 2009, 79.5 percent of the population had access to water supplies, but only 37.5 percent of the population, or 8.06 million people, could access potable water through pipe-borne systems. In some regions, it was estimated that more than 80 percent of the water supply was contaminated. Much of the contamination was attributed to agrichemical runoff and saltwater intrusion, the latter of which resulted from the 2004 tsunami when four tidal waves inundated part of the island's freshwater aquifer and well network with seawater.
This is the first full-scale, design-build water-supply project that Ex-Im Bank has financed for an international client, said Dan Batrack, Tetra Tech's chairman and CEO. Tetra Tech is proud to support the government of Sri Lanka in this important effort to bring safe drinking water to its people. This transaction supports high-end technical jobs in the United States and allows us to bring our best water services where they are needed most.
Founded in 1966, Tetra Tech provides consulting, engineering, and construction services related to waterways, harbors, and coastal areas. Over the past 40 years, the company has substantially increased the size and scope of its business and expanded its service offerings through a series of acquisitions and internal growth. The company employs approximately 13,000 people around the globe.
Sri Lanka accounted for approximately $20 million of the Bank's worldwide credit exposure as of the end of FY 2011.
The Bank's Environmental Export Program includes support for U.S. goods and services to international water projects, and its enhanced financing includes repayment terms up to 18 years.
Ex-Im Bank's financing has supported the sale of approximately $270 million in water-related exports since FY 2009.
About Ex-Im Bank:
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. In the past five years, Ex-Im Bank has earned for U.S. taxpayers $1.9 billion above the cost of operations. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.
Ex-Im Bank approved $32.7 billion in total authorizations in FY 2011 - an all-time Ex-Im record. This total includes more than $6 billion directly supporting small-business export sales - also an Ex-Im record. Ex-Im Bank's total authorizations are supporting an estimated $41 billion in U.S. export sales and approximately 290,000 American jobs in communities across the country. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.