FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 8, 2011
Marianna Ohe (202-565-3200)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The 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 has issued its report for 2010. The panel's reports offer guidance to ongoing work at regional energy projects.
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 Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Project. The panel consists of four members, each a recognized expert in various aspects of environmental and social sciences. The panel engages Cayetano Heredia University in Lima to serve as its Secretariat to coordinate activities and provide logistical services.
In early 2008 Ex-Im Bank approved a $458.6 million long-term loan guarantee to support U.S. exports for this project, which became operational in late 2010. More than 60 U.S. exporters and suppliers, large and small, provided equipment and services for the project, consisting of an LNG plant, related marine loading terminal, and dedicated natural gas pipeline to the plant. The development of South Central Peru is driven largely by new energy projects including Peru LNG.
All physical projects for which Ex-Im Bank support is requested undergo environmental screening and review to assess potential environmental and social effects of the project. The projects are expected to meet the Bank's environmental requirements, which are based on the environmental and social standards and guidelines of the World Bank. These guidelines include requirements to protect air and water quality. They set forth measures to mitigate project impacts on ecology, cultural heritage, indigenous peoples, and community health and safety, as well as the impact of involuntary resettlement.
The Independent Advisory Panel report is available at the panel's web site, www.southperupanel.org, which also contains other information about the panel and its members. Dr. Gonzalo Castro de la Mata, Chair of the panel, notes that this first report issued by the panel sets the tone for future findings that will broadly address certain long-term, fundamental issues that define the way Peruvian society interacts with its environment and builds social inclusion, as it develops the South-Central region of the country.
The panel found that the Peru LNG project itself was carried out with extreme attention to cutting-edge environmental engineering, minimal ecological impact, sensitivity to cultural patrimony, redressing needs of complaints of communities along the project's line of impact and a treatment and shipping facility that meets the highest international standards. The report cautioned, however, that a more complex picture arises based on information about Peru's energy mix, the wealth distribution from its extractive industries and the cumulative and socio-economic impacts related to the numerous development activities within the region. Initial findings suggest that these and other issues need to be addressed strategically and from a long-term development perspective.
Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg met with the panel members during their recent visit to Washington when the contents of the report were discussed. The chairman noted that he was especially impressed with the quality and content of the report, which he cited as exceptionally informative in its treatment of a wide range of environmental and social topics relating to development in South Central Peru. We appreciate the work of the Panel and look forward to its future findings on how environmental and social aspects related to development projects in this region of Peru are being managed.
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 of financing products, including:
- working capital loan guarantees to help small and medium-sized U.S. businesses
- export credit insurance to protect against nonpayment by foreign buyers
- loan guarantees and direct loans to assist foreign buyers of U.S. goods and services.
During the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2011, the Bank approved $8 billion in total financing authorizations, supporting nearly $9.3 billion in export sales. The sales in the first quarter in turn support approximately 66,000 American jobs in communities across the country.
During the FY2011 first quarter small business authorizations rose over 22 percent, and new customer volume rose 55 percent, over the same period of 2010. In Fiscal Year 2010 overall, the Bank authorized a record high of approximately $24.5 billion in loans, guarantees and insurance, supporting about 230,000 American jobs.
For more information on Ex-Im Bank, visit www.exim.gov.