GT Solar Awarded Exporter of the Year Award

Renewable energy has historically been sold in terms of its environmental benefits, but the economic benefits are becoming increasingly clear. At a time when the U.S. trade deficit in February reached a record $61 billion — much of that in energy imports — a small company in New Hampshire was busy manufacturing and selling equipment for the worldwide production of solar photovoltaic (PV) equipment.

They’re now slated to receive the 2005 Small Business Environmental Exporter of the Year award from the Export-Import Bank of the United States. The award will be presented to GT Equipment Technologies of Merrimack, New Hampshire at the Ex-Im Bank’s 2005 annual conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, April 14. GT manufactures equipment to produce solar wafers, cells and panels. The company credits its nearly 150 percent surge in revenues last year — a record revenue in its 10-year history – to the role played by Ex-Im Bank’s working capital guarantees. The company has added 40 jobs to handle the new business. Founded in 1994, GT Equipment Technologies won its largest contract ever in mid-2004 for a turnkey solar wafer production line, which was purchased by Tatung in Taiwan. The contract exceeded Ex-Im Bank’s working capital guarantee facility limit, but the bank stepped up and provided a $4.8 million project-specific guarantee, enabling GT Equipment to undertake the project. “Without Ex-Im Bank’s guarantee, we would have had a difficult time getting the financing needed to take on new business,” said GT Equipment Technologies President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Zarrella. “This has created a lot of jobs. We’ve hired over 40 people in the last six months as result of our growth. It’s also stimulated the economy of New Hampshire.” Wells Fargo Business Credit of Boston, Massachusetts, provided the working capital financing guaranteed by Ex-Im Bank. “Ex-Im Bank is delighted to support this type of small business, renewable energy export that supports high-quality U.S. jobs while contributing to environmentally beneficial development in emerging markets,” said Ex-Im Bank Chairman Philip Merrill. Ex-Im Bank’s 30th annual conference on April 14 and 15, will be held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The award ceremony will take place during the April 14 luncheon program, which begins at 12:30 p.m.

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