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Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) approved $87 million in direct loans to finance the sale of equipment and services by Raytheon Engineers & Constructors, Philadelphia, PA and Praxair Inc., Danbury, CT for two projects in India. Both projects -- a thermal power station and an air separation facility -- will supply a nearby steel plant being built in the southwestern state of Karnataka.

The contracts, won in the face of stiff foreign competition, will help sustain hundreds of high quality U.S. jobs in Pennsylvania and Connecticut and at subsuppliers around the country.

Ex-Im Bank`s Board of Directors approved a $74 million loan to finance Raytheon`s export of engineering, procurement and construction services to Jindal Tractebel Power Co. (JTPC), Bombay, for a 260-megawatt thermal power plant. The plant will supply power to an adjoining integrated steel mill owned by the Jindal Vijayanagar Steel Co. (JVSL). In turn the steel plant will deliver fuel -- low sulfur coal and COREX gas, a byproduct of the steel-making process -- to the power plant. The use of the treated gaseous fuel reduces the emission of pollutants, minimizing their adverse impact on the environment, and also reduces the need for coal as a fuel.

Ex-Im Bank also approved a $13 million loan to finance Praxair`s sale of design, procurement and construction services to Jindal Praxair Oxygen Co., Ltd. (JPOCL) for an air separation plant at the same location. The plant will supply industrial gases -- oxygen, nitrogen and argon -- to the abovementioned steel mill, and will receive power from the adjacent thermal power plant.

The guarantor for both projects is the Industrial Credit & Investment Corporation of India, Bombay. The loan for the thermal power plant will be repaid in 24 semiannual installments starting Feb. 15, 1999. The loan for the air separation plant will be repaid in 20 semiannual installments starting July 15, 1998.

The Indian companies involved in the projects are members of the O. P. Jindal Group. Ex-Im Bank provided a $51.4 million direct loan to help finance the steel plant in 1994. The steel mill served by the power and oxygen plants will produce 1.25 million tons per year of hot rolled steel coil products.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent government agency that helps finance and promote the sale of U.S. goods and services around the world.