WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A U.S. solar-module manufacturer and a Mexican company are both benefiting from the support of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). In a recently approved transaction, Ex-Im Bank will guarantee a $780,000, 10-year loan to be made by UPS Capital Business Credit to finance the export of photovoltaic (PV) solar modules from Suniva Inc. in Norcross, Ga., to a rooftop solar-power project of Grupo Metal Intra S.A.P.I. de C.V. (GMI). GMI is a leader in Mexico's prefabricated-building industry.
The transaction is being made possible by utilizing medium-term buyer financing that is available to support smaller-scale renewable-energy projects in Mexico and in most other countries.
"With this authorization, Ex-Im Bank is continuing its strong support for Suniva's high-efficiency exports that are sustaining high-quality jobs in Georgia," said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. "Our financing also benefits GMI, which will reap clean-energy savings for years to come. We hope to support many more such projects in Mexico and around the world."
Another GMI company, Intragreen Tecnologia Sustenable, S.A.P.I. de C.V., will integrate the solar project and act as the provider of local services, including the project's installation and connection to the grid. Ex-Im Bank's medium-term guarantee will also support approximately $130,000 of related local costs.
The 500-kilowatt roof-top solar power project will be placed on the roof of GMI's main production plant in the city of Queretaro. The project will be one of the largest rooftop solar-energy facilities in Mexico.
Since 2007, Suniva has used Ex-Im Bank's buyer financing and working capital guarantees to support its exports to global markets that include Europe, India, Mexico and other countries in Latin America. Ex-Im's financing has helped to sustain 190 jobs at Suniva's manufacturing facility in Norcross, Ga.
"Suniva is very proud to partner with a leading and visionary organization like GMI/Intragreen in Mexico," said Suniva Chairman and CEO John Baumstark. "It is most fitting that the first major export and installation of our modules in Mexico is utilizing a guarantee from the U.S. Export-Import Bank with which we have a longstanding and valuable relationship."
"GMI has a long history of innovation and leadership in construction technology. Through our Intragreen subsidiary, we are continuing that tradition in renewable energy. We are grateful that Suniva, UPS Capital and Ex-Im Bank have joined us as a vital part of that vision," said Oscar Peralta Navarrete, chairman of the board of GMI.
Suniva's technology was selected due to its high-efficiency rate of more than 16 percent at the module level that produces more power on limited surface areas. Suniva is also providing racking and inverters. The solar project is expected to generate 50 percent of GMI's electricity needs and reduce GMI's overall energy costs by at least 15 percent annually. GMI estimates that the energy savings will repay the investment in the solar panels in about seven years, while reducing CO2 emissions by approximately 677 tons per year.
Suniva is a U.S. manufacturer of high-efficiency crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) solar cells and high-power solar modules. Headquartered in the metropolitan Atlanta area, Suniva sells its advanced PV cells and modules globally. The company evolved from the work of Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi at the University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaics Research and Education (UCEP) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. For more information, visit www.suniva.com.
About Ex-Im Bank
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that creates and maintains U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. In the past five years (FY 2008 through FY 2012), Ex-Im Bank has earned for U.S. taxpayers nearly $1.6 billion above the cost of operations. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.
Under its Environmental Exports Program, Ex-Im Bank provides enhanced support for U.S. exports to renewable-energy projects and other exports that benefit the environment. Features include extended repayment terms (up to 18 years for renewable-energy and water projects) and coverage of local costs for up to an additional 30 percent of the U.S. contract price.
In FY 2012, Ex-Im Bank authorized $614.5 million in financing to support over $1.18 billion of U.S. exports of environmentally beneficial goods and services. Nearly 60 percent of these authorizations are for renewable-energy exports.
Ex-Im Bank approved a total of $35.8 billion in authorizations in FY 2012 – an all-time Ex-Im record. This amount includes more than $6.1 billion directly supporting small-business export sales – also an Ex-Im record. The Bank's authorizations in FY 2012 are supporting an estimated $50 billion in U.S. export sales and approximately 255,000 American jobs in communities across the country. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.
SOURCE Export-Import Bank of the United States