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Small Illinois Company Wins $350 Million Contract to Expand Electricity Transmission System in Ghana, Backed by Ex-Im Bank Financing

U.S. Suppliers Across the Country Sustain Jobs through the Export Sale

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 27, 2008

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe (202-565-3200)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A 13-employee engineering firm based in Mount Prospect, Ill. has won a $350 million rural electrification turnkey contract from the government of Ghana, and will procure equipment and services from U.S. suppliers around the country to fill the order backed by a $344 million loan from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank).

Weldy-Lamont Associates Inc. overcame foreign competition to win the contract for phase four of Ghana's Self Help Electrification Project (SHEP IV), based on the company's successful performance on phase three of the project (SHEP III). The company will provide procurement, engineering, installation and management services.

Not only is Weldy-Lamont Associates a small business, but it won this substantial contract based on its performance on the earlier contract, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President James H. Lambright. This follow-on business is a tremendous endorsement of both the value and quality of goods and services provided by American exporters.

We'll be contracting with U.S. suppliers from the Midwest to California to Florida to Georgia, said Weldy-Lamont President Patrick J. Hennelly. This five-year project is going to help them immensely because normally they are suppliers to the housing industry, which is in a slump. This will help manufacturers avoid layoffs.

An estimated 45 percent of the contract price will go to small businesses.

Weldy-Lamont itself has doubled its business over the last five years and plans to hire two more electrical engineers in the near future. Currently, eight engineers and four other employees are based in Mount Prospect, Ill., and a ninth engineer is based in Milwaukee, Wisc. A significant part of the company's growth is due to increased export business in recent years to countries including China and Thailand.

The government of Ghana sees the ongoing program to bring electrical connectivity to the populace of Ghana as the underpinning for the country's economic growth and poverty reduction. The goal is to connect all eligible communities with a minimum population of 500 individuals, or approximately 3,800 villages, to the national grid by 2020.

Ex-Im Bank also supported Weldy-Lamont's participation in SHEP III, where the company began as a subcontractor but, based on its excellent performance, was asked to become the primary supply contractor.

Ex-Im Bank is the official export-credit agency of the United States. The independent, self-sustaining federal agency, now in its 74th year, helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by financing the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loan guarantees, export-credit insurance and direct loans. In fiscal year 2007, Ex-Im Bank authorized $12.6 billion in financing to support an estimated $16 billion of U.S. exports worldwide. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.