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EX-IM BANK SUPPORTS ALABAMA COMPANY'S EXPORT OF OIL INDUSTRY VESSELS TO NIGERIA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 16, 2001

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

Horizon Shipbuilding, Inc., Bayou La Batre, AL, will export three vessels totaling $17.5 million to serve the offshore oil industry in Nigeria, with the support of an Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) $10 million medium-term insurance policy. Slok Nigeria Limited, Lagos, Nigeria, the buyer, will make the two 155-foot crew/supply vessels and one oil spill mooring vessel available to Mobil Producing Unlimited Nigeria under a five-year contract.

These are the first vessels of this type built for a wholly-owned Nigerian company, said Travis E. Short, Sr., chief executive officer of Horizon, a family-owned, 100-employee firm established three years ago. This transaction opens up a new market for us, and establishes a new business for Nigerian owners. Short added that the performance of the contract would not have been possible without the assistance of Ex-Im Bank.

Citibank, N.A., New York, NY, is providing the financing that is being insured by Ex-Im Bank. Diamond Bank of Lagos, Nigeria is the guarantor and primary source of repayment.

Mobil will use the two crew vessels to transport their staff and materials offshore on a daily basis. The oil spill mooring vessel will be on standby to clean up if there is a spillage.

Ex-Im Bank is open to consider short-, medium- and in some cases long-term financing in the private sector in Nigeria.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that helps finance the export of U.S. goods and services to emerging markets throughout the world by providing loans, loan guarantees, and export credit insurance. During fiscal year 2000, Ex-Im Bank supported $15.5 billion in U.S. exports.