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Ex-Im Bank Board Approves $2.84 Billion Export Financing

15,000 American Jobs Supported For Four Years

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 18, 2011

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Phil Cogan (202) 565-3200

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States yesterday approved a $2.84 billion direct loan/loan guarantee to Colombia's Refinería de Cartagena S.A. (Reficar), a majority owned and controlled independent subsidiary of Ecopetrol S.A., Colombia's national oil company.

The financing will support the purchases of equipment and services from over 150 large and small U.S. engineering/design, equipment supply, contracting and process license firms, including Chicago Bridge & Iron, Foster Wheeler, and Honeywell UOP. Small business exporters and suppliers include companies located in Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.

This is part of a $5.18 billion refinery and upgrade project in Cartagena, Colombia supplying petroleum products to the domestic and export markets. About four percent of the transaction will directly benefit small businesses. The transaction will help create or sustain over 15,000 American jobs for a total of four years.

Colombia is one of the nine countries in the world that Ex-Im Bank has identified as having the greatest potential for U.S. exporters and their workers, said Fred P. Hochberg, chairman and president of the Bank. Just last February and December the Bank approved nearly $880 million in export financing to help finance the sale of goods and services from various U.S. exporters to Ecopetrol. The export sales to Ecopetrol alone support an estimated 6,700 American jobs.

The Bank's financing may only be used to purchase goods and services produced by American workers and some approved local costs.

Colombia is now second to Mexico as Ex-Im Bank's largest market in Latin America. At the end of fiscal year 2008 the Bank's exposure in Colombia totaled $127.5 million. With the approval of the Reficar transaction the Bank's exposure in Colombia will increase to almost $3.8 billion. The financing approved for Reficar amounts to the second largest transaction ever approved by the Bank.

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. 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. By charging fees and interest on all loan-related transactions, Ex-Im Bank is self-sustaining and is able to cover all operation costs and potential losses while also producing revenue. The Bank has generated $3.4 billion for U.S. taxpayers over the past five years.

In fiscal year 2010, Ex-Im Bank authorized a record high of approximately $24.5 billion in loans, guarantees and insurance (including more than $5 billion in authorizations for small businesses), supporting an estimated 230,000 American jobs. For the first half of the current fiscal year, FY 2011, Ex-Im completed $13.4 billion in total authorizations. This supported $15.9 billion in exports and more than 115,000 U.S. jobs, a 14 percent increase in jobs supported over the first half of 2010. These strong financial results put the Bank on a path to its third consecutive record-breaking year. For more information, visit Ex-Im Bank's Web site at www.exim.gov