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Ex-Im Bank Announces New Solar Express Product To Expedite Financing of U.S. Exports to Small Solar Projects

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 21, 2010

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Stephanie M. O'Keefe or Phil Cogan at (202) 565-3200

LOS ANGELES - The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) today announced its new Solar Express product that will provide streamlined financing for U.S. exports to small solar-energy projects that could be approved in as few as 60 days. The details were announced by Bank officials during Earth Day visits to solar and wind-energy companies in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg said, Smaller-scale solar projects traditionally have been at a disadvantage in obtaining project financing because of the high cost of advisory services associated with them. Through our new Solar Express product, Ex-Im Bank can help U.S. solar-industry exporters be more competitive and increase international sales.

Hochberg made Earth Day visits to two Southern California renewable-energy companies: Clipper Windpower Inc. in Carpinteria and SolarWorld Industries America Inc. in Camarillo. Hochberg will address a breakfast meeting at the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce on Friday, April 23.

Export sales using Solar Express will enable the Bank to consider project financing for small solar-power producers seeking loans of $3 million to $10 million.

The Bank's Environmental Exports Program offers enhancements for eligible U.S. exports such as greater risk protection, capitalization of interest during construction and financing of local costs up to 30 percent of the U.S. contract price. Repayment terms of up to 18 years are available for U.S. exports to renewable-energy and water-related projects.

Ex-Im Bank, an independent, self-sustaining federal government agency, exists to fill gaps in export financing, strengthen U.S. export competitiveness, and create and maintain U.S. jobs. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees to help small and medium-sized U.S. businesses, export-credit insurance to protect against nonpayment by foreign buyers, and loan guarantees and direct loans to assist foreign buyers of U.S. goods and services.

In fiscal 2009, overall Ex-Im Bank financings came to $21 billion, while authorizations for small business exports totaled $4.36 billion, both historic highs. In the first half of fiscal 2010, the Bank authorized a record $13.2 billion in loans, guarantees and insurance - more than twice the amount authorized in the same period in fiscal 2009.

In fiscal 2009, Ex-Im Bank authorized $363 million to support an estimated $640 million of U.S. exports of environmentally beneficial goods and services.

More information about Ex-Im Bank's Solar Express Initiative and other support for environmentally beneficial exports is available on the Bank's Web site at www.exim.gov.