Historic Ex-Im Bank Financing Supports U.S. Exports

Washington, D.C. - September 16, 2003 The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) today gave the final administrative go-ahead for a loan guarantee of up to $200 million to support U.S. exports to build the Nanhai Petrochemical Complex in Guangdong Province in China.

"This is the first major private financing by Ex-Im Bank in China. It opens up a new avenue for Ex-Im Bank to help U.S. companies export their products and services to the important China market," said Ex-Im Bank Chairman Philip Merrill.

Ex-Im Bank's action came after a ceremony in Beijing Friday to celebrate the execution of agreements for $2.45 billion in debt financing by a consortium of lenders, including Chinese and international commercial banks, and Ex-Im Bank and four other export credit agencies, for the $4.4 billion Nanhai project. Ex-Im Bank's loan guarantee will support up to $180 million of equipment and services by Bechtel Corp., San Francisco, CA, and other U.S. suppliers, as well as interest and financing fees.

This transaction marks the first time that Ex-Im Bank has supported U.S. exports to China through limited recourse project financing, in which repayment is based on project revenues, rather than a guarantee of the debt by the host country government.

The Nanhai Petrochemical Complex is expected to meet increasing petrochemical demands primarily in southern China. The project will consist of an 800,000 ton per year ethylene cracker, intermediate and final petrochemical product processing units, utilities and supporting infrastructure.

Bechtel will provide project management, engineering, procurement and construction services. Other potential U.S. suppliers on the export sale include Stone & Webster Consultants, Houston, TX; Kellogg, Brown & Root, Inc., Houston, TX; and Triconex Corp., Irvine, CA.

Ex-Im Bank's guarantee will cover both the construction and post-construction phases of the project. A consortium of lenders will provide the guaranteed financing, with CreditAgricole Indosuez acting as Ex-Im Bank's agent.

Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal government agency that helps finance the sale of U.S. exports, primarily to emerging markets throughout the world, by providing loans, guarantees, and insurance. In fiscal year 2002, Ex-Im Bank authorized financing to support approximately $13 billion of U.S. exports worldwide.w