The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) Chairman and President Fred Hochberg announced today in New Castle, Delaware that the Bank will finance the sale of Acrow Corporation of America’s modular steel bridge components to the Road Development Agency in the Republic of Zambia (ROZ). EXIM will guarantee a $73 million commercial loan to facilitate the export of 144 steel bridges. This action is expected to support approximately 200 jobs at Acrow’s manufacturing facility in Milton, Pennsylvania along with thousands more in Delaware, New Jersey and several other states.
In pursuit of its congressional mandate to support the export of U.S.-made goods and services to the Sub-Saharan region, EXIM authorized more than $2 billion in financing to support such exports in 2014, the largest total in the Bank’s 81-year history.
“With this transaction, we’ve not only leveled the playing field for an American manufacturer in a highly competitive global market, but we’ve also empowered Acrow to hire more American workers,” said EXIM Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. “This deal is a great example of how EXIM financing equips American exporters to beat the competition overseas while supporting jobs at home.”
Acrow’s competitive proposal was chosen over those developed by its European and Chinese counterparts in a market that has historically been the focus of substantial Chinese investment, thanks to the financing it applied for and received from the Bank. As a result, the company’s bridges will be used in ROZ’s repair and modernization plan to improve Zambia’s rural road infrastructure, connecting people to schools, hospitals and enhanced economic opportunities.
“These EXIM Bank-supported projects transform Acrow Bridge’s international presence by offering clients financing alternatives that assist emerging markets in accessing immediate and profound upgrades to their bridging infrastructure, particularly in rural areas where agricultural development depends so heavily on quality road and bridge networks,” said Acrow President and CEO Bill Killeen.
“The Zambia project will build on Acrow Bridge’s decades-long commitment to providing high-quality bridge infrastructure solutions in Africa, with a special focus on local skills capacity building,” added Paul Sullivan, Acrow’s Vice President of International Business Development.