FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 31, 2004
Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ), Kazakhstan's state-owned national railway company, today signed financing documents in support of the sale by General Electric Co., Inc., Erie, Penn., of 200 locomotive kits to KTZ.
The documents were signed at a ceremony at Ex-Im Bank headquarters by Ex-Im Bank Chairman Philip Merrill, KTZ Vice President Dr. Zhannat S. Satubaldina, and ABN AMRO Bank Senior Vice President Ingrid Cijsouw. Also in attendance were Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United States Kanat Saudabayev, and Robert Parisi, manager, Locomotive Modernization, General Electric Transportation Systems.
The documents support a $122 million long-term loan guarantee approved by Ex-Im Bank's board of directors last month to finance KTZ's purchase of the GE locomotive kits. ABN AMRO Bank is the guaranteed lender on the transaction.
This transaction supports KTZ's locomotive modernization program and at the same time supports U.S. exporters and U.S. jobs. Merrill said. KTZ plays a critical role in the national economy of Kazakhstan because so much of the country's oil, coal, minerals and other commodities travels over vast distances by rail.
Ambassador Saudabayev stressed the importance of GE's participation in Kazakhstan's railway sector, furthering the country's strategy to expand economic development by reducing dependence on the oil sector.
KTZ's Satubaldina declared all parties to the transaction are choosing the right path to build the economy in Kazakhstan.
GE's Parisi praised Ex-Im Bank for developing a unique structure for the financing transaction: KTZ is the first non-bank government-owned company in Kazakhstan to receive Ex-Im Bank-supported financing without a sovereign guarantee.
ABN AMRO's Cijsouw called the financing one of the largest transactions of its kind in the rail industry and also praised its innovative structure.
The export sale will maintain or create approximately 575 jobs at GE's manufacturing facilities in Erie and Grove City, Penn., and at GE subsuppliers in Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
KTZ will use the kits to refurbish 100 of its 18-year-old model 2TE10 locomotives, extending their useful lives for another 15-20 years. Ex-Im Bank also helped finance KTZ's purchase of 54 modernization kits in 2003.
Ex-Im Bank this year marks its 71st year of helping finance 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 2003, Ex-Im Bank, an independent federal agency, authorized financing to support $14.3 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. For more information on Ex-Im Bank visit //www.exim.gov.