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EX-IM BANK $192 MILLION LOAN GUARANTEE SUPPORTS U.S. EXPORTS FOR NEW ALGERIAN POWER PLANT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 30, 2003

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Andrew Yarrow, (202) 565-3200

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WASHINGTON, D.C.- The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) approved a $192 million long-term loan guarantee to support construction of the 825-megawatt Skikda Power Project in the Algerian coastal city of Skikda.

SNC Lavalin Constructors -- the Redmond, Wash.-based subsidiary of SNC Lavalin Constructors International Inc., a Canadian company -- is exporting General Electric gas-fired turbines and providing engineering services for the project.The borrower is Shariket Kahraba Skikda (SKS), a special-purpose corporation formed, to develop the project, by two Algerian state-owned energy companies, Sonatrach and Sonelgaz, which are providing guarantees to Ex-Im Bank. Societe Generale of New York, N.Y., the lender, received a 12-year guarantee from Ex-Im Bank.

This project is a good illustration of how Ex-Im Bank supports jobs in the United States while supporting economic development in emerging markets, Philip Merrill, Ex-Im Bank's chairman, said. Algeria is a growing and important market for Ex-Im Bank, and we look forward to doing more business there.

Ex-Im Bank has supported many Sonatrach financing requests during the last 30 years. Currently, the Bank has more than $840 million in exposure in Algeria.

Next year, Ex-Im Bank marks its 70th 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 2003, Ex-Im Bank, an independent federal agency, authorized financing to support $14.3 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. For more information on Ex-Im Bank, visit www.exim.gov.