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EX-IM BANK FINANCES $77 MILLION POWER PLANT UPGRADE IN BULGARIA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 9, 2000

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Nancy Publicover (202) 656-3200 or nancy.publicover@exim.gov

Westinghouse Electric Company, Monroeville, Pa., is helping upgrade and modernize the Kozloduy nuclear power plant in Bulgaria with a loan from Citicorp North America, Inc., New York, N.Y., backed by a $77 million facility from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). The credit agreement was signed in Sofia, Bulgaria today, with American Ambassador to Bulgaria Richard M. Miles signing on behalf of Ex-Im Bank.

Westinghouse will provide instrumentation and control equipment, radiation monitoring equipment and related goods and services for a nuclear safety upgrade of Kozloduy Units 5 and 6, two 1,000 megawatt reactors of the VVER-1000 type, the safest and closest to Western design standards of the Soviet nuclear power plants. The modernization project will bring the plant up to Western standards of reliability and safety.

Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon said, The Kozloduy nuclear safety upgrade will ensure a safe, dependable energy infrastructure for Bulgaria, contributing to the country's economic growth potential and paving the way for increased trade opportunities between our two countries.

Ex-Im Bank's long-term financing helped Westinghouse win the Kozloduy contract over competitors in France and Germany. This is Ex-Im Bank's first transaction in Bulgaria since 1967.

Moshe Mahlab, Westinghouse's project director for Kozloduy, said, The Kozloduy upgrade is significant for our company and, in addition, it will sustain approximately 100 jobs in the U.S. over the seven-year term of the project and as a follow-on, will further solidify Westinghouse's presence in the modernization of Soviet-designed nuclear reactors in Eastern Europe. Mahlab noted that Ex-Im Bank backing helped Westinghouse win contracts in the Czech republic at the Temelin Nuclear Power Station.

Repayment of the financing to Kozloduy will be guaranteed by government of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal government agency that provides export credit insurance, working capital guarantees, loans and loan guarantees to help finance exports of U.S. goods and services around the world, particularly to developing markets. In fiscal year 1999, Ex-Im Bank supported nearly $17 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.