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EX-IM BANK SUPPORTS $136.5 MILLION IN U.S. EXPORTS FOR BRAZIL'S ARAUCARIA POWER PROJECT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 4, 2001

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has authorized a $178 million long-term direct loan to support the $136.5 million export by Bechtel International Inc., Gaithersburg, MD, of gas turbines and other equipment to build a 469-megawatt combined cycle power plant in Araucaria, Parana, Brazil. It is Ex-Im Bank's first power project in Brazil to use limited recourse project financing, in which repayment comes from project revenues. Suppliers on the project include Siemens Westinghouse Power Corp., Orlando, FL, which is supplying the turbines; Sulzer Bingham Pumps Inc., Portland, OR; and ABB Automation Inc., Wickiffe, OH.

The project company, UEG Araucaria Ltda., is owned by project sponsors El Paso Energy, Inc.; COPEL (Companhia Paranaense de Energia); and Petrobras (Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.).

We are delighted to break new ground by supporting one of the first private thermal power projects in Brazil to be structured as a limited recourse project financing, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman John E. Robson. This transaction will support numerous U.S. jobs and help Brazil diversify its energy sources.

The Ex-Im Bank loan will cover both the construction and operating phases of the project. The sole source of repayment is the tariff revenue from the 20-year power purchase agreement with COPEL. The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) also is participating in the financing of the $360 million project.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to markets around the world, through export credit insurance, loan guarantees, and direct loans. Ex-Im Bank helped to finance approximately $12.4 billion of U.S. exports worldwide in Fiscal Year 2001.