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Ex-Im Bank Gives Preliminary OK For $2.8 Billion Export Financing

15,000 American Jobs Supported For Four Years

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 6, 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 today voted to grant preliminary approval for a $2.84 billion direct loan/loan guarantee to Colombia's Refinería de Cartagena S.A. (Reficar). The financing, when finally approved, 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, Exxon/Mobil and UOP.

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 S.A., Colombia's national oil company. The export sales to Ecopetrol alone support an estimated 6,700 American jobs.

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. If the Reficar transaction receives final approval the Bank's exposure there will increase to almost $3.8 billion.

The Reficar transaction is subject to Congressional notification, with a final vote anticipated approximately 35 days following the expiration of the notification period. If it receives final Board approval it would be the second largest transaction ever approved by the 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.

During the first quarter of fiscal year 2011, the Bank approved $8 billion in total financing authorizations, supporting nearly $9.3 billion in U.S. export sales. These sales will support approximately 66,000 American jobs in communities across the country.