Ex-Im Bank to Loan Bechtel US$178mn for Araucaria

Monday, October 8, 2001

The US' Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) has authorized a US$178mn long-term direct loan to engineering company Bechtel to build and put into operation a 469MW combined cycle power plant in Araucaria, in Brazil's Parana state, Ex-Im Bank said in a statement.

Araucaria will receive gas turbines and other equipment from US companies Siemens Westinghouse, Sulzer Bingham Pumps, and ABB Automation Inc.

The US' El Paso, Brazil's federal oil company Petrobras and Parana state integrated power company Copel are developing the project, which is scheduled to start operations at end-2002.

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"This transaction will support numerous US jobs and help Brazil diversify its energy sources," Ex-Im Bank president John Robson said.

The Ex-Im Bank loan will cover both the construction and operating phases of the project, which has a 20-year power purchase agreement with Copel.

The US' Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic) is also participating in the financing of the US$360mn project.