Ex-Im Bank Approves US $61M for SolarWorld

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has approved a total of US $61 million in long-term financing to support exports of photovoltaic (PV) solar modules by SolarWorld Industries America to Gochang Solar Park Co. Ltd. of Seoul, Korea. The exports were used in five solar power-generation projects and helped to sustain jobs at the company’s manufacturing plants in Camarillo, California, and Hillsboro, Oregon.

The five separate Ex-Im Bank loan guarantees are supporting loans provided by the Private Export Funding Corp. (PEFCO). Ex-Im Bank’s financing also covers $10.2 million of local costs for installation. The repayment term for each of the loans is 13.5 years.

All five SolarWorld solar-energy projects, completed and in operation since September 2008, are located on a 97-acre site near the city of Gochang in southwestern Korea. The projects have collectively generated 15 megawatt hours of electricity that is being sold to the Korean electric utility company, Korea Electric Power Corp., under a 15-year agreement that includes a subsidized feed-in tariff program from the Korean government.

The transactions were originally financed in the Korean market to expedite the construction of the projects and ensure completion by the deadline to receive a favorable subsidized feed-in tariff rate. The initial Korean financing has been converted to Ex-Im Bank’s long-term loan guarantees.

“Ex-Im Bank is pleased to support Solarworld USA’s exports for these projects because we want to help advance the competitiveness of U.S. exporters and support jobs in the United States. Ex-Im Bank’s long-term financing at economically viable interest rates ensures the sustainability of these projects in this important sector in Korea, which actively supports the development of renewable-energy sources,” said Ex-Im Bank Vice Chair Linda Conlin.

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