An export credit facility between Seaboard Corporation, a US-based company and a client of Wärtsilä, and Standard Chartered Bank was signed on 17 September 2010. This 12-year, $114m (€88m) transaction to finance a power plant project in the Dominican Republic, is the first non-shipping and only the second export contract to utilise the new Finnish Export Credit (FEC) financing scheme.
Seaboard Corporation will use the credit funds to acquire a barge-mounted power plant from Wärtsilä to supply electricity to the national grid of the Dominican Republic. Under this turnkey contract, announced by Wärtsilä on 30 August, Wärtsilä will supply generating equipment for this power plant, which will run on natural gas and have a net output of 106MW. It is scheduled to be operational before the end of 2011.
In response to the liquidity constraints caused by the global financial crisis, the Finnish Parliament, in December 2008, approved a temporary refinancing programme of export credits by FEC for the years 2009 and 2010. The aim of the programme is to ensure continuity in the long-term financing of export transactions for Finnish export companies.
“We are very pleased with Wärtsilä’s ability to support us in the full turnkey power barge project, not only with their competitive power plant solution, but also with support in finding suitable financing for the project,” says Barry Gum, vice president, finance and treasurer, Seaboard Corporation.
“The Finnish Export Credit financing scheme provides the necessary liquidity to fund credits extended to customers of Finnish exporting companies. It is an important element in maintaining the competiveness of Finnish exporting companies under the prevailing constraints within the funding market. While the availability of financing has improved since the financial crisis, the need for credit facilities backed by the Finnish Government through Finnish Export Credit and Finnvera remains,” says Markus Pietikäinen, vice president group treasury and financial services at Wärtsilä Corporation.