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Ex-Im Bank Helps Illinois Small Business Export Equipment to Make Injectable Medicines and Bottled Water for Nigerian Population

Illinois Jobs Created, Nigerian Health To Be Enhanced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 31, 2009

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202-565-3206)

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Forty new U.S. jobs will be created and Nigeria's access to life-saving medical supplies will be enhanced when American Plastics Technologies Inc. (APT), Schiller Park, Ill., sells equipment to make intravenous (IV) solutions, injectable medicines and bottled water to Nigeria. The export sale will be backed by an Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) long-term loan guarantee.

Alpha Fluids Limited ofLagoswill use the equipment to make sterile, high-quality IV solutions, medical drips, and vitamin-enriched bottled waters and medical beverages in a new plant in Asaba in southern Nigeria. In addition to providing the equipment, APT, a 60-employee manufacturer located in the Chicago suburbs, will provide installation, training, and operations services for the new facility.

Ex-Im Bank will guarantee a $15.5 million loan from the Private Export Funding Corporation (PEFCO), New York, N.Y., to support the sale. Oceanic Bank International Plc of Abuja, Nigeria, also will guarantee the transaction.

This project is going to change thousands of lives for the better, for several generations to come in Nigeria -- it is such a life-saving thing, said Dr. Rao Murukurthy, APT chief executive officer. And it will enable our company to add 40 U.S. employees immediately to help with installation, operations and maintenance at the new plant.

This transaction furthers two of Ex-Im Bank's highest priorities: strengthening support for U.S. small business exports and increasing exports to buyers in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, it will enable Alpha Fluids to provide quality products to enhance health care in Nigerian hospitals, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman Fred P. Hochberg. It is especially important to find ways to expand this type of Ex-Im Bank support during these challenging economic times.

Nigeria lacks sufficient domestic production capacity to meet the country's need for intravenous solutions. With the prevalence of malaria and other diseases that require high IV fluid usage, the World Health Organization estimates that the annual demand would increase dramatically. Alpha Fluids' new plant will have an annual production capacity of 9 million 500-milliliter bottles of IV solutions, and 24 million bottles (500-milliliter, 1 liter and 1.5 liter) of medical/energy beverages.

The project's proximity to a nearby airport under construction and to the Niger River will allow for eventual exportation of product to neighboring West Africa states, thereby extending the project's health benefits to residents of those countries.

Sixteen U.S. suppliers from across the country, eight of them small businesses, are participants in the APT export.

Ex-Im Bank is the official export-credit agency of the United States. The independent, self-sustaining federal agency, now in its 75th year, helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by financing 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 2008, Ex-Im Bank authorized $14.4 billion in financing to support an estimated $19.6 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. Eighty-six percent of nearly 2,328 transactions directly benefited small-business exporters. Of the total Ex-Im Bank authorizations, $570.5 million supported exports to sub-Saharan Africa.