World Bulletin/News Desk
The U.S. Export-Import Bank said on Friday it authorized a $2 billion direct loan to Barakah One Co of the United Arab Emirates to purchase U.S. equipment and construction services to build one of the world's largest nuclear power plants.
The credit line is expected to support approximately 5,000 jobs across 17 U.S. states and has the support of the White House's National Security Council as well as the departments of State and Energy, Ex-Im Bank said.
"In addition to bolstering American jobs, Ex-Im Bank will make history by backing the construction of the first nuclear power plant on the Arabian peninsula," Fred Hochberg, president of the U.S. Ex-Im Bank, said in a statement.
Ex-Im said the loan is the largest in its history to the UAE and also represents the first new nuclear power plant it has helped finance since the late 1990s.
At the end of the 2011 budget year, Ex-Im had about $3.7 billion of credit exposure in the UAE.
Westinghouse Electric Co LLC, a Pittsburgh, Pa.-based group company of Toshiba Corp, is the largest exporter involved in the transaction and will provide the reactor coolant pumps, reactor components, controls, engineering services, and training, Ex-Im said.
"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. Within Westinghouse alone, the Barakah project will allow us to maintain about 600 U.S. jobs," Ric Perez, president and chief operating officer of Westinghouse, said in a statement.
Barakah One plans to erect four nuclear reactor power-generating units on a coastal strip approximately 220 kilometers (137 miles) from the city of Abu Dhabi.
Reactors supplied by the Korea Electric Power Corp will come online at one-year intervals beginning 2017 and produce 5,600 megawatts gross electricity.
The United States and UAE signed a civilian nuclear cooperation pact in 2009 and followed that a year later with a formal arrangement between the two countries' nuclear regulators.
The UAE also has entered into a number of treaties and conventions pertaining to the nuclear sector and has signed bilateral agreements on the same subject with South Korea, France, and Japan, among others, Ex-Im said.
Dollar strength and waning investor confidence are driving the lira lower
Greece has already received two bailouts totalling 240 billion euros but fellow euro zone member Ireland said last week that it would have to negotiate a third programme.
The Ukraine crisis has tested the loyalties of Bulgaria, a Balkan country with historical ties to Moscow and heavily dependent on Russian energy supplies.
Syria expels three United Nations aid workers hindering aid development in the country
Russia has overcome a "psychological barrier" and is ready to deepen its economic ties with China, Deputy Prime MinisterArkady Dvorkovich said
With Chancellor Angela Merkel's right-left coalition plus the opposition Greens, it was the biggest majority for any euro zone rescue package so far in the 631-seat chamber.
The agreement commits Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi to cooperate with the United States in customs issues, ease red tape at borders, reduce customs wait times and harmonize trade standards.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has unnerved China with his re-examination of certain projects that Chinahas invested in, including a $1.5 billion "port city" project in Colombo.
EU energy chief Maros Sefcovic invited Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Demchyshyn for talks
Gazprom and Ukrainian state energy firm Naftogaz have accused each other of not sticking to agreements on gas supplies.
The new canal, that will allow two-way traffic of larger ships, is supposed to increase revenues by 2023 to $13 billion.
A day after euro zone finance ministers agreed to a four-month extension of a financial rescue, Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis gave a frank assessment of Greece's financial position.
The agreement is the culmination of talks that began in September after the government decided its own solutions to its fiscal crisis were failing to convince investors.
Energy union highlights bloc's attempt to seek independency from its main gas supplier - Russia.
Merkel's right-left coalition is set to prevail, despite vocal pockets of resistance on the right and left.
Republicans passed the bill to increase pressure on Obama to approve the pipeline, a move the president said would bypass a State Department process that will determine whether the project is in the U.S. national interest.