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Niki Shepperd (202) 565-3200

A Maryland company is paving the way for rural residents of Peru to have access to state-of-the-art wireless telecommunications thanks to a $2.4 million medium-term loan guaranteed by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). BP Solar International of Linthicum Heights, Md., one of the world's leading solar electric power companies, will export solar-powered modular equipment to Gilat To Home Peru, S.A. of Lima, Peru. Gilat to Home Peru, S.A. provides telecommunications services to rural and urban areas in Peru. The loan will be provided by Allfirst Bank of Baltimore, Md.

Developing nations around the world are increasingly turning to solar power and other renewable energy sources to provide electricity for critical applications such as rural telecommunications, medical facilities, and other infrastructure needs, said Dan Renberg, a member of the Bank's Board of Directors. Ex-Im Bank is committed to supporting U.S. companies in the renewable energy sector as they expand their foreign sales because these transactions are a win for U.S. workers, a win for rural citizens abroad, and a win for the global environment, added Renberg.

As part of the Bush Administration's commitment to expand trade and investment between the United States and the Andean region, Ex-Im Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Trade and Development Agency earlier this month hosted an Andean Regional Trade & Investment Conference in Lima, Peru. The conference explored investment opportunities for U.S. companies in four key sectors: transportation infrastructure, technology and development, tourism, and renewable energy and environmental infrastructure. This is Ex-Im Bank's first transaction in Peru since the conference.

Under Ex-Im Bank's Environmental Exports Program, the medium-term loan guarantee qualified for an enhanced repayment term of six years. A regular medium-term repayment period ranges from two to five years. By providing longer repayment terms for solar energy projects, the Bank attempts to make such technologies more cost-effective for the end user and thus generate additional sales for U.S. exporters.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal government agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance. In fiscal year 2002, Ex-Im Bank authorized financing to support approximately $13 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.