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Independent Advisory Panel on Impact of Peruvian Development Becomes Operational

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 28, 2010

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202-565-3200)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An independent panel, established to advise the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) and interested parties on the environmental and social effects of development in South Central Peru, is now operational. The panel is based in Lima.

Ex-Im Bank made creation of the Independent Advisory Panel on Development Issues in South Central Peru a condition of the Bank's approval of financial support for the Peru LNG Project. In early 2008 the Bank approved a $458.6 million long-term loan guarantee to support U.S. exports for this project, which is expected to become operational within the next few months. The development of South Central Peru is driven largely by new energy projects including Peru LNG.

Members of the advisory panel, selected by Ex-Im Bank in 2009, are recognized, eminent experts in various aspects of environmental and social sciences. The panel is chaired by Dr. Gonzalo Castro de la Mata, former head of the biodiversity unit of the Global Environment Facility and current chairman of Ecosystem Services LLC, with offices in Lima and Washington, D.C.

The other members are: Dr. Richard Chase Smith, who as an anthropologist has carried out cultural-historical research with the Yanesha people for 35 years, and as executive director of the non-governmental organization Instituto del Bien Comun, oversees their work on conservation and sustainable use of natural resources through efforts carried out by indigenous communities and local governments; Dr. Glenn Shepard, fluent in several languages of indigenous people of the Amazon forest, is a researcher and curator of ethnology in the Department of Anthropology at the Emilio Goeldi Museum in Belem, Brazil; Dr. Patricia Majluf, a recognized marine biologist, with decades of experience studying marine mammals and seabirds, and director of the Center for Environmental Sustainability of the Cayetano Heredia University in Lima; and Member Emeritus Dr. Richard Korswagen, who recently retired as director of the Environmental Studies Institute for the Universidad Católica in Lima.

We are especially impressed by the level of expertise and experience of the panel members, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. We look forward to their findings on how the environmental and social aspects of the development of South Central Peru are being managed.

The panel says it intends to post its reports on the internet, which will offer guidance to ongoing work at regional energy projects.

More than 60 U.S. exporters and suppliers large and small will provide equipment and services for the Peru LNG Project, consisting of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, related marine loading terminal, and dedicated natural gas pipeline to the plant. Exporters include CSA Trading/CBI Americas, The Woodlands, Texas; and some 18 small business suppliers such as 37-employee Earthquake Protection Systems, Vallejo, Calif., a provider of isolators; 97-employee Durham Geo-Enterprises, Stone Mountain, Ga., a provider of tank casing; and 35-employee Ground Technology D'Appolonia, Monroeville, Penn., an environmental consultant.

Last month members of the new advisory panel were introduced to U.S. Ambassador to Peru Michael McKinley, to officials of the U.S. Agency for International Development, and to officials of Perus Ministry of Energy and Mines, Ministry of the Environment, and Organization for Supervising Investments in Energy and Mines. All expressed enthusiasm about the panels upcoming work and offered to share information. The panel members also toured project sites.

The panel is engaging Cayetano Heredia University in Lima to serve as its Secretariat to coordinate activities and provide web site, e-mail and logistical services.

Ex-Im Bank, an independent, self-sustaining federal government agency, exists to fill gaps in export financing, to strengthen U.S. export competitiveness and to help create and maintain U.S. jobs. The Bank provides a variety financing mechanisms including working capital loan guarantees to help small and medium-sized U.S. businesses, export credit insurance to protect against nonpayment by foreign buyers, and loan guarantees and direct loans to assist foreign buyers of U.S. goods and services.

In fiscal year 2009, Ex-Im Bank authorized $2.6 billion in financing to support U.S. exports to Latin America and the Caribbean, including $27.9 million for U.S. exports to Peru. The Bank's overall exposure in the region at the end of the fiscal year totaled $14.2 billion, about 21 percent of its total portfolio.

Ex-Im Bank's global financing for fiscal year 2009 came to $21 billion, while authorizations for small business exporters totaled $4.36 billion, both historic highs. In the first four months of fiscal year 2010, the Bank authorized a record $10.9 billion in loans, guarantees, and insurance more than three times the amount authorized in the same period of fiscal 2009. For more information on Ex-Im Bank, visit www.exim.gov.