Ex-Im Bank’s $159 million direct loan to the project sponsor, Energia Eolica de Honduras S.A., will finance its purchase of 51 Gamesa G87 2-MW wind turbines for the 102-MW wind farm, which will be the largest in Central America. It is the second major wind farm to be supported by Ex-Im Bank in fiscal year 2010 and the Bank’s first wind project in Central America.
The wind energy facility will be located 20 kilometers south of the capital city of Tegucigalpa in the municipalities of Santa Ana and San Buenaventura. When operational, the wind farm will be the fourth largest power generator in Honduras, producing about 6 percent of the country’s power.
"It’s a remarkable story when a Spanish company such as Gamesa invests in high-paying U.S. jobs in Pennsylvania and is then able to export wind turbines to customers in Central America," said Fred P. Hochberg, chairman and president of Ex-Im Bank. Hochberg further added, "Renewable-energy sources such as solar and wind power are increasingly important energy providers, and U.S. manufacturing is leading the way in these technologies. We are proud to support this innovative transaction."
The wind turbines will be manufactured at Gamesa’s Pennsylvania manufacturing facilities using generators supplied by ABB Power T & D Company Inc. in Bland, Va.; blades by LM Glassfiber Inc. in Grand Forks, N.D., and associated equipment and services from other U.S. suppliers.
"The support we received from Ex-Im Bank became a critical factor in driving this project to a successful conclusion," said Dirk Matthys, CEO of Gamesa North America. "Export projects are taking on a greater significance because they help support and sustain employment for our 800 Pennsylvania workers during difficult economic times."
Gamesa Wind US LLC is a subsidiary of the Spanish wind energy company, Gamesa Corporacion Technologica, a global corporation focused on wind energy. Gamesa began manufacturing wind turbines in the United States in 2006 and has annual production capacity of 1,200 MW per year at its two plants in Fairless Hills (northeast of Philadelphia) and Ebensburg (near Johnstown). The company has a total U.S. workforce of 900 employees, approximately 800 of whom work in Pennsylvania.
Mesoamerica Energy is a renewable-energy company that develops, builds, owns and operates wind projects and other renewable-energy facilities in Central and Latin America. The company is majority-owned by Globeleq Holdings, which focuses exclusively on providing reliable power to emerging markets of Africa, the Americas and Asia.
Ex-Im Bank, an independent, self-sustaining federal-government agency, helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in export financing and strengthening U.S. export competitiveness. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees to help small and medium-sized U.S. businesses, export-credit insurance to protect against nonpayment by foreign buyers, and loan guarantees and direct loans to assist foreign buyers of U.S. goods and services.
In fiscal 2009, overall Ex-Im Bank financing totaled $21 billion, and authorizations supporting small-business exports reached a historic high of $4.4 billion, nearly 21 percent of total authorizations.