The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) announced today it will guarantee financing to support the export of U.S.-made helicopters to Brazil. This marks the first time the Bank has financed high-tech AW139 helicopters destined to be operated by Omni Taxi Aereo (OTA) of Rio de Janiero, Brazil. Omni Helicopters International S.A. (OHI) will buy the aircraft and assign them to its operating subsidiary, OTA. Philadelphia manufacturer AgustaWestland North America will supply its twin-engine helicopters in order for OHI to service its transportation contracts with Petrobras, which operates deep-water drilling rigs off the Brazilian coast.
The Bank’s financing is estimated to support at least 500 American jobs in all phases of aircraft production and delivery, based on the number employed by AgustaWestland in Philadelphia.
“With this transaction, we’ve guaranteed employment for skilled American workers,” said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. “We’re pleased not only to help support these well-paying jobs, but also to level the playing field for an American manufacturer in the highly competitive energy-industry aircraft market.”
Brazil’s state-owned Petrobras off-shore drilling industry increasingly demands new-technology, medium-lift helicopters like the AW139 model produced by AgustaWestland North America in its Philadelphia factory. Each AW139 helicopter can carry fifteen passengers to remote off-shore operations. It features a range of 575 miles and can fly at a cruising speed of 190 miles per hour.
Bruno Cellemme, President and CEO of AgustaWestland (Philadelphia), remarked, “AgustaWestland is pleased to again partner with the Export-Import Bank of the United States to support the export of helicopters produced at our Philadelphia plant. These exports help to sustain jobs at our Philadelphia-based manufacturing plant, which employs more than 500 aerospace workers.”
ABOUT EX-IM BANK:
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. In the past five years (from Fiscal Year 2008), 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.
Ex-Im Bank approved $35.8 billion in total authorizations in FY 2012 – an all-time Ex-Im record. This total includes more than $6 billion directly supporting small-business export sales – also an Ex-Im record. Ex-Im Bank’s total authorizations 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.
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