FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 25, 2001
Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200
A $1.5 billion financing transaction in which the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) played a key role to support Turkey's largest ever private power project has been named European Power Deal of the Year by Project Finance magazine. In its January issue, Project Finance called the financing of the Gebze (1554-megawatt), Adapazari (777-megawatt) and Izmir (1554-megawatt) combined cycle power plants in Turkey during fiscal year 2000 arguably the most innovative and electrifying deal to date in the Turkish power market. Ex-Im Bank provided three loan guarantees totaling $860 million for the overall combined project. ABN Amro Bank, N.V., Chicago, IL, was the guaranteed lender and lead arranger. InterGen, Boston, MA and Enka Insaat ve Sanayi AS, Turkey, were project sponsors.
Fundamental to the financing is the involvement of U.S. Ex-Im, Project Finance said. The magazine cited Ex-Im Bank's provision of both political and commercial risk coverage during the construction and operation phases of the projects as central to their success: The new comprehensive product ... successfully set up the framework for all three deals to be done together, thus trumping an earlier plan for three individual deals. Until recently, Ex-Im Bank provided only political risk coverage during the construction phase of projects, and comprehensive (political and commercial) coverage after completion. For this transaction, Ex-Im Bank is providing comprehensive guarantees throughout the construction and operation periods, with an option for a direct loan after completion.
Ex-Im Bank Chairman James A. Harmon said the Turkish deals are the realization of Ex-Im Bank's taking real construction risk, stepping up to the plate on behalf of what is so important to Turkey while supporting U.S. jobs and working with other export credit agencies (ECAs) and U.S. trade agencies.
The three gas-fired power plants together will add 17% power capacity in Turkey and provide the country's lowest cost electricity. They are being constructed under the build-own-operate (BOO) model for private power development. Bechtel Power Corp., Frederick, MD, and General Electric Co., Schenectady, NY, are the lead suppliers.
Also participating in the financing of this project are the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a U.S. federal agency which is providing direct loans, and the German (Hermes) and Belgian (OND) ECAs, which are providing comprehensive insurance.
Project Finance magazine, which reports on the global infrastructure finance market, annually presents several awards for transactions by industry and region based on innovation, overall size and significance of the transaction, and its ability to serve as a model for future deals. The European Power Deal of the Year is among several awards announced in the January issue. Additional awards will be announced in the February issue.
Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. exports primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance. Ex-Im Bank supported $15.5 billion in U.S. exports in fiscal year 2000.