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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 16, 1997

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe 202-565-3200

Weather Modification, Inc., a small family-owned company in Fargo, North Dakota, is seeding clouds for a growing number of foreign customers and creating U.S. jobs in the process backed by financing from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank).

Weather Modification needed additional working capital to fill growing orders from countries such as Mexico, Thailand, Greece, Canada and Turkey. Ex-Im Bank's guarantee of an $850,000 revolving working capital loan from Norwest Bank is making the business growth possible.

The Ex-Im Bank financing will allow us to expand our existing foreign business and move into new countries, said James P. Sweeney, Weather Modification Vice President. We have negotiations underway in several countries where we have not been before. As we win new contracts, we'll need to expand our employee base significantly.

Congressman Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) praised the work of Ex-Im Bank in creating tremendous international opportunities for U.S. companies. I'm delighted that Weather Modification will be able to continue to grow its overseas business with this financing, Pomeroy said. Weather Modification is one of North Dakota's finest international success stories.

Exports make up over 60 percent of Weather Modification's sales. Its 45-person workforce provides weather monitoring and cloud seeding services to private and government entities to enhance rainfall and minimize potentially severe weather conditions. The airborn cloud seeding generators and weather radar systems that the company makes and leases help fill municipal reservoirs and reduce hail. We're the largest private firm in the world doing this work, Sweeney said.

Weather Modification is an existing client of Norwest. Weather Modification's domestic and foreign sales were growing, and the facilities Norwest had provided were not meeting the needs of the company's growing business, says Norwest Vice President Christopher Cudak, Ex-Im Bank's Working Capital Guarantee Program allowed Norwest to provide the additional capital the company needed to continue to expand its sales.

. Jim Hambrick in Norwest Bank's Fargo office worked with Cudak and Kent Mericle in Norwest's World Banking Department to facilitate the new financing. As an Ex-Im Bank Delegated Authority Lender, Norwest can make local lending decisions without having to get Ex-Im Bank's approval first.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal government agency that supports American jobs by financing U.S. exports around the world. In the past five years Ex-Im Bank has authorized $65.6 billion of financing in over 10,000 transactions. Annually, the Bank sustains an estimated 200,000 U.S. jobs directly, and another one million jobs indirectly.