The U.S. Export-Import Bank on Friday announced the authorization of a $2 billion direct loan to the Barakah One Co. of the United Arab Emirates to underwrite the export of American equipment and service-expertise for the construction of a nuclear power plant in the Abu Dhabi emirate.
According to estimates derived from U.S. Census Bureau statistics, the line of credit will support about 5,000 American jobs across 17 states.
The transaction will finance the construction of the first nuclear power plant on the Arabian peninsula, which upon completion will number among the largest nuclear-generating facilities in the world. Additionally, the loan ranks as Ex-Im Bank's largest transaction in the U.A.E. to date and counts as bank's first greenfield nuclear-plant financing since the late 1990s.
The National Security Council and the State and Energy departments supported the transaction. The U.A.E. also entered agreements with the United States for peaceful nuclear energy development in 2009 and 2010.
The reactors, which will come online at one-year intervals effective 2017, will yield an aggregate capacity of 5,600 megawatts gross electricity.
Westinghouse Electric in Pittsburgh is the largest exporter involved in the transaction and will provide the reactor coolant pumps, reactor components, controls, engineering services, and training.
"This work will create and sustain U.S. jobs in California, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and other states home to Westinghouse sub-suppliers,” Ric Perez, president and chief operating officer of Westinghouse, in a statement. “Within Westinghouse alone, the Barakah project will allow us to maintain about 600 U.S. jobs. In addition, the bank's support will sustain hundreds of well-paying jobs at Westinghouse's U.S. sub-suppliers and indirect jobs in the service industry."
Since the end of fiscal year 2011, the U.A.E. accounted for about $3.7 billion of Ex-Im Bank's worldwide credit exposure, and in the same year the bank approved a total of $415 million in authorizations to support American exports bound for the Persian Gulf country.