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Thursday, January 31, 2013

U.S. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK GUARANTEES LOAN TO FINANCE SOLAR-MODULE EXPORTS TO MEXICO


One of the smaller step pyramids at the massive archaeological site of Teotihuacan (approximately 40km or 25mi northeast of Mexico City). Credit: CIA World Factbook.

FROM: U.S. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK
Ex-Im Bank Approves $780,000 Loan Guarantee To Finance U.S. Solar-Module Exports to Mexican Rooftop Solar-Power Project

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- 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 Tecnología 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 Querétaro. 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.