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The Robbins Company of Solon, Ohio, is Named EX-IM Bank's Small Business Environmental Project Exporter of the Year


Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202) 565-3200

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Robbins Company of Solon, Ohio, will receive the 2007 Small Business Environmental Project Exporter of the Year award from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) at Ex-Im Bank's annual conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, April 12.

Robbins, which designs and services tunnel boring, hydroelectric, sewer rehabilitation and irrigation machinery, won a $131 million contract to supply equipment and services to build an irrigation tunnel in India, backed by an Ex-Im Bank $25 million working capital guarantee (WCG) facility.

The 10-meter-wide tunnel will funnel water to a reservoir in a drought-stricken area in the Andhra Pradesh region of India to supply drinking and irrigation water to 516 villages. To protect the environment, the Indian government decided to run the tunnel under the Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, rather than building a pipeline through the sanctuary.

We've increased employment by about 50 people to work on this contract, said The Robbins Company Chief Financial Officer Jim Virost. Also a lot of work has been subcontracted to companies in our area. And we have another project in the pipeline in India and are quoting on several more. The Robbins Company has 170 employees in its U.S. offices in Solon; Kent, Wash.; and Oakhill, W.Va.

Supporting U.S. environmentally beneficial exports and small business exports are top Ex-Im Bank priorities in carrying out our mission, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President James H. Lambright. We are delighted that The Robbins Company allows us to work on both priorities at once and in the process create and sustain U.S. jobs. It well deserves the Small Business Environmental Project Exporter of the Year award.

Virost said the tunnel transaction would not have been possible without Ex-Im Bank. We needed a loan guarantee fairly quickly. Through the Wells Fargo HSBC Trade Bank, which has a fast track program with Ex-Im Bank, we received Ex-Im Bank's working capital guarantee, and the Trade Bank provided stand-by letters of credit securing advance payments made by our Indian customer.

Under Ex-Im Bank's Fast Track application processing system, experienced lenders can provide small and medium-sized U.S. exporters with expedited Ex-Im Bank-guaranteed working capital loans -- between $10 million and $25 million -- with a total aggregate limit of $300 million per lender.

Ex-Im Bank's 32nd annual conference on April 12 and 13 will be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The award ceremony will take place during the April 12 luncheon program which begins at 12:30 p.m.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent U.S. government agency that assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to markets around the world, through export credit insurance, loan guarantees, and direct loans. In fiscal year 2006, Ex-Im Bank authorized over $12.1 billion in transactions supporting an estimated $16.1 billion in U.S. exports.

For more information about Ex-Im Bank's Annual Conference, including online registration, accommodations, and program details, visit //www.exim.gov/.