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EX-IM BANK FINANCING SUPPORTS U.S. JOBS, IMPROVES VENEZUELANS` HEALTH, QUALITY OF LIFE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 5, 1996

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe 202-565-3206

Cleaner water will be available to hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans and over 600 American jobs will be sustained through an Illinois company`s $42 million sale of water treatment equipment to Venezuela, backed by financing from the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (Ex-Im Bank). The sales are the latest in a stream of U.S. exports totaling $209 million financed by Ex-Im Bank since fiscal 1992 to upgrade Venezuela`s water and sewage treatment infrastructure. The exports have supported thousands of U.S. jobs.

In the two latest transactions approved by Ex-Im Bank`s Board of Directors, Harza Engineering Company International LP, Chicago, IL, will provide equipment and services to modernize water treatment and pumping stations in the Caracas metropolitan area, and a waste treatment plant and water pumping stations in Sucre State.

These sales will support over 30 jobs at Harza and more than 600 jobs at 30 companies around the country, and provide clean water for hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans, said Dr. Refaat Abdel-Malek, president of the parent company, Harza Engineering Cos. The projects would not have been possible without the Ex-Im Bank financing.

Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun (D-IL) said: The benefits of the partnership between Harza Engineering and the Export-Import Bank means more business for an innovative, high-quality Illinois company, more jobs for Illinoisans, enhanced competitiveness for America, and a cleaner environment for the world.

Ex-Im Bank Director and Chief Operating Officer Julie D. Belaga said: We are delighted to support U.S. jobs by backing sales of environmentally beneficial equipment to this important emerging market, and to help Venezuela enhance public health through improved water quality. Because of Venezuela`s economic improvement, the Bank is now open for short- and medium-term financing in the private sector, and for short-, medium-, and long-term financing in the public sector. This should provide even more opportunities for U.S. exporters.

Harza, a 76-year-old engineering consulting firm owned entirely by employees, added a special procurement group several years ago to manage Ex-Im Bank-financed contracts, according to Dr. Abdel-Malek. Since 1990, Harza and the Bank have worked together on environmental projects in Venezuela generating over $160 million in exports. Work on the earlier projects is still generating business at over 60 U.S. manufacturers, Dr. Abdel-Malek said.

For the latest two projects, Harza will:

  • export $25.9 million of equipment and engineering and construction services to rehabilitate and expand a waste treatment plant and pumping stations providing water in Cumana, Carupano and other coastal cities in Sucre State; and
  • export $16.3 million of equipment and services to rehabilitate up to 67 water pumping stations to distribute potable water in Caracas.

Ex-Im Bank will guarantee a loan from The Northern Trust Company, Chicago, IL, for the first transaction, and a loan from Westdeutsch Landesbank, New York, NY, for the second. The buyer for both transactions is Venezuela`s Ministry of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (MARNR). The borrower is the Ministry of Finance, which carries the full faith and credit of the Venezuelan government.

Harza is a domestic and international provider of civil engineering services for hydro-electric power and dam projects, water quality management, industrial waste disposal, and other land and water development projects.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent government agency that helps create American jobs by financing and promoting the sale of U.S. goods and services around the world.

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