Gamesa invested over $70 million to convert more than 20 acres at a former U.S. Steel industrial site in Fairless Hills, Pa., into a modern manufacturing center for the production of wind turbines (nacelles) as well as over $80 million at Ebensburg, Pa., to build a new blade manufacturing facility. In 2011, Gamesa will export 51 wind turbines for a wind farm in Honduras backed by financing from Ex-Im Bank.
"Gamesa is an excellent example of how innovative, renewable-energy companies can help meet energy needs across the globe and create jobs here at home," said Ex-Im Bank Chairman Fred P. Hochberg. "Ex-Im Bank is pleased to recognize Gamesa’s remarkable growth in the United States. We want green-energy companies, small and large, to know that we can help them export to more customers in more countries to keep more Americans employed."
"Exports equal jobs," Gamesa North America CEO Dirk Matthys said. "The economic impact of increasing exports extends far beyond the walls of the factory where our products are made. These benefits pass through to our suppliers that provide the materials and services needed in the manufacturing process. Opportunities such as this sale to Honduras demonstrate the very real potential of renewable-energy projects."
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 power 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 benefited from 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 manufacturing wind turbines in the United States in 2006 and has annual production capacity of more than 1,000 megawatts per year from 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. Gamesa ranked third in the United States for its wind-turbine installations in 2010.
The 2011 Ex-Im Bank Annual Conference on March 31 – April 1 will be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The award ceremony will take place at 1:45 p.m. on March 31.
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain American jobs by filling gaps in private-sector export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. The Bank provides a variety of financing products, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. capital goods and services.
By charging fees and interest on all loan-related transactions, Ex-Im Bank is self-sustaining and is able to cover all operation costs and potential losses while also producing revenue. The Bank has generated $3.4 billion for U.S. taxpayers over the past five years.