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Ex-Im Bank Finances Air Traffic Control System for Albania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 12, 2005

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3206


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A Lockheed Martin employee tests a Skyline air traffic automation system similar to that being installed in Albania for its national airspace modernization program. An Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) $47.6 million long-term loan guarantee will support the sale. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

TIRANA, ALBANIA -- An Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) $47.6 million long-term loan guarantee will support the sale by Lockheed Martin Corp., Rockville, Md., of an air traffic control navigation system and related goods and services to upgrade Albania's air navigation system.

Linda Conlin, a member of Ex-Im Bank's board of directors, announced the financing transaction today during a business development mission to Albania, where she met with Prime Minister Fatos Nano, Minister of Industry and Energy Viktor Doda, Minister of Finance Arben Malaj, and other government and business leaders.

This export sale is a win for everyone, Conlin said during a news briefing. It will support skilled U.S. jobs at Lockheed Martin and its subsuppliers throughout the United States, help modernize Albania's transportation infrastructure at Mother Teresa Airport in Tirana, and serve as a model for future U.S. participation in modernizing Albania's infrastructure.

The Lockheed system, to be used by Albania's National Air Traffic Agency (NATA), will quickly triple the capacity for air flights over Albania and provide for continuing capacity increases as needed. It also will help decrease flight times and fuel costs for airlines flying between northwestern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, and provide Albania with self-sustaining over-flight revenues.

This project was made possible by a feasibility study grant provided by Ex-Im Bank's sister agency, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, which showed the economic viability of the project and demonstrated the competitiveness of the modernized Albanian air traffic control system.

The guaranteed lender on the transaction is BNP-Paribas, New York, N.Y. The borrower is NATA. The guarantee is denominated in Euros (36.6 million). The primary source of repayment will be the Euro-denominated revenues from flights over Albanian airspace.

Ex-Im Bank, the official export credit agency of the United States, is in its 71st 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 2004, Ex-Im Bank authorized financing to support $17.8 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.