Ex-Im Bank Chairman Promotes Exports and Jobs in Pennsylvania Wind-Energy Factory Tour

Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) Chairman Fred P. Hochberg today toured the factory of Gamesa Technology Corp. in Fairless Hills, Pa., to highlight the Obama Administration’s focus on increasing exports from renewable-energy industries to maintain and create U.S. jobs. Hochberg met with Gamesa North America CEO Dirk Matthys and other company representatives.

In 2006, Gamesa invested $34 million to convert more than 20 acres at a former U.S. Steel industrial site into a modern manufacturing center for the production of wind turbines (nacelles). In 2011, Gamesa will export 51 wind turbines to Honduras’ wind farm backed by financing from Ex-Im Bank.

"The wind power industry is growing globally, and more countries beyond the traditional markets in Europe and North America are turning to this clean, renewable source of energy. Ex-Im Bank is committed to helping companies such as Gamesa export to more customers in more countries to expand U.S. employment in these industries," said Hochberg.

"Increasing exports helps to create and sustain American jobs," Gamesa North America CEO Dirk Matthys said. "The economic impact extends far beyond the walls of the factory where our products are manufactured for export. The economic benefits extend throughout the supply chain among all the operations that provide the materials and services needed in the manufacturing process."

In 2010 Ex-Im Bank authorized a $159 million direct loan to Energia Eolica de Honduras S.A. to finance Gamesa’s export of 51 wind turbines (102 megawatts) for the Cerro de Hula Wind Farm – the first utility-scale wind project in Honduras. It is one of the largest wind-power projects in Central America where wind power is needed due to limited domestic energy resources.

The transaction was among the first exports from Gamesa’s Pennsylvania factories and was the first time that the company has used Ex-Im Bank financing. It was also Ex-Im Bank’s first renewable-energy deal utilizing the Bank’s new carbon-policy incentives, including an 18-year repayment term.

Gamesa Technology Corp. began making wind turbines in the United States in 2006 and has annual production capacity of 1,200MW 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.

Ex-Im Bank, an independent, self-sustaining federal agency, helps create and maintain American jobs by filling gaps in export financing and strengthening U.S. export competitiveness. In fiscal year 2010, the Bank authorized a record high of approximately $24.5 billion in loans, guarantees and insurance, supporting about 230,000 American jobs.