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Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

FMC Jetway Systems, an Ogden, Utah maker of passenger boarding bridges and other airport equipment, is expanding into the South American market as a lead supplier on a $2.5 million sale of airport equipment for a new passenger terminal in Chile's Octava region. The sale through exporter Calmaquip Engineering Corp., Miami, FL, is made possible by an Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) medium-term loan guarantee.

FMC Jetway boarding bridges will be shipped to Constructora De Aeropuerto S.I.M.B. Ltda. (CDA), a recently established consortium in Santiago, to be used in the terminal CDA will build and operate at Carriel Sur airport serving the city of Concepcion. The sale also includes baggage handling and security equipment manufactured by other US suppliers.

This is a major win for us, said David G. Harmer, president of Jetway Systems, the largest producer of passenger boarding bridges in the world. I hope that showing our customer down there we can do a good job will help us win other projects we're pursuing in South America. More and more activity is coming up, and if we could develop a better market position in South America, this would help sustain our workforce here in Ogden.

With a workforce of 600, FMC Jetway, a subsidiary of FMC Corp., Chicago, IL, is one of the largest employers in Ogden, a city of 75,000 people 35 miles north of Salt Lake City. The company's business is driven by large projects, with the export portion of its total sales varying in the 30-40% range. FMC also makes power converters that provide power to aircraft while docked at the gate, preconditioned air units that provide heated or cool air to aircraft, de-icers, loaders, tractors and other equipment.

Harmer said Ex-Im Bank's medium-term guarantee of a loan by Barclays Bank PLC, Miami, FL, enabled the US export offer to win over government-backed European competition. Medium-term financing on competitive terms was not readily available from commercial banks without the Ex-Im Bank guarantee.

Over the past five years, Ex-Im Bank has helped 34 Utah companies in 10 communities export $70 million in goods and services, sustaining an estimated 1,021 jobs and contributing to the success of many local companies. Sixty-five percent of the transactions were on behalf of small businesses.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent US government agency that helps finance the sale of US exports primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance. Worldwide in fiscal year 1999, Ex-Im Bank supported nearly $17 billion in exports.