Welcome to ECA Watch

Export credit agences provide government-backed loans, guarantees and insurance to corporations working internationally in some of the most volatile, controversial and damaging industries on the planet.

Shrouded in mystery, ECAs provide financial backing for risky projects that might never otherwise get off the ground. They are a major source of national debt in developing countries.

ECA Watch is a network of NGOs from around the world. We come together to campaign for ECA reform - better transparency, accountability, and respect for environmental standards and human rights.

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What's New for January 2023

"What's New!" is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New! features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive "What's New!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today! Questions?

Email info-at-eca-watch.org

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • Public Financing as a Critical Path Forward to a Just Energy Transition in Africa
  • Trade Finance In Wartime
  • Heads of G7 Export Credit Agencies Express Support for Ukraine
  • Court finds UKEF’s $1.15 bln funding for Mozambique LNG project lawful
  • UKEF signs deal with Egyptian construction titan to boost post-Brexit trade with Africa
  • "Green" Hydrogen: What role for ECAs?
  • Comparing Government Financing of Reactor Exports
  • Saudi and Italian ECAs sign MoU to enhance trade cooperation
  • Mexico Expects State Oil Giant Pemex to Pay Its Debt Without Government Help
  • Chinese export insurer scales up support for foreign trade
  • Spain's CESCE restricts fossil fuel finance, but leaves major gas loopholes
  • India extends aid worth USD 3.9 billion to help Sri Lanka face economic crisis
  • Uganda cancels $2.2bn Chinese rail contract, signs with Turkey
  • GE secures €1bn agreement with Polish ECA
  • Dutch climate expenditure audit reveals inconsistencies

Public Financing as a Critical Path Forward to a Just Energy Transition in Africa

(Engineering News, Johannesburg 12 January 2023) The path to decarbonizing the energy sector is not a “one-size-fits-all” between developed and developing markets. Given the historical strain between developed economies (which modernized with fossil fuels) and developing economies (now being asked to forgo this route), it is evident that sustainable, long-term global cooperation and energy security will be required to address the need for Africans to have access to sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy. If we truly want to increase electrification in developing countries in Africa and help provide reliable, affordable, and sustainable energy, policy makers and financial institutions must partner with project sponsors to tailor capital solutions that best fit the region and its countries. ECAs and DFIs along with commercial banks and other multilaterals play a critical role in enabling access to the capital required to deliver a more just and equitable energy transition today and for future generations. In a recent opinion piece, Jonathan Bell, Editor in Chief of TFX News asks "When will sub-Saharan Africa be able to properly see the light?' and addresses "the jokers that think such countries ought to be moving straight to renewables – they need to ask how could they pay for such projects, and how could any related debt be repaid?" With respect to the Friends of the Earth opposition to the Mozambique LNG project he argues that "some of [those] volumes to be exported were destined to be used in power generation to replace coal and oil generators - a move which would lower carbon emissions globally." [What's New Editorial comment: Given that northern industrial development was largely financed on the backs of African slaves, one could also ask why we must hold back on tightening our own belts and coming up with the admittedly huge means to pay for their carbon free investments, in reparation for what we got from Africa, instead of begging for the delay of a long overdue "just" transition to keep ourselves warm.]

https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/public-financing-as-a-critical-path-fo...


Trade Finance In Wartime

(Global Finance, New York, 3 January 2023) According to the World Bank, Ukraine’s GDP over 2022 will have contracted by some 35%. Further decline is expected for 2023, as the full economic implications of Russia’s war become clear. The huge drop-off in trade has of course severely impacted trade finance. Many of the correspondent banks that used to do regular business pulled away, while long-term financing projects have been pretty much shelved across the board. ECA coverage is scarce in the extreme. In many cross-border transactions, cash is king. The international media has rightly focused on the huge disruptions to supply lines, including shipments of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports, and Russian targeting of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has cast much of the population into freezing darkness and has massively disrupted business. With foreign banks and customers understandably jittery, the role of international financial institutions like the International Finance Corporation in guaranteeing transactions has been key. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has firmly committed to supporting Ukraine. Ukrexim’s Shchur echoes this, “At such a fateful time, we really want to encourage prominent foreign banks and ECAs to become more actively involved in trade finance operations here.

https://www.gfmag.com/magazine/january-2023/trade-finance-ukraine-russia-war


Heads of G7 Export Credit Agencies Express Support for Ukraine

(UKEF, London, 22 January 2023) Acknowledging the G7 Leaders’ Statement on Support for Ukraine, as heads of the official export credit agency (ECA) schemes of the G7 nations – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America – we wish to express our ongoing support for Ukraine and for its reconstruction efforts and our unwavering solidarity with the Ukrainian people for as long as it takes. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the G7 ECAs have remained open for underwriting Ukrainian business opportunities in solidarity with Ukraine during this difficult time. We also continue to participate in the wider dialogue with other ECAs and multilateral institutions, including within international fora such as the Berne Union, to find ways to enhance cooperation, share information and leverage our collective platforms to bring visibility to and stimulate support for Ukraine.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/heads-of-g7-export-credit-agencies-joint-stat...


Court finds UKEF’s $1.15 bln funding for Mozambique LNG project lawful

(Offshore Energy, Schiedam, 13 January 2023) A London court has ruled that the UK government’s funding of up to $1.15 billion of financing for the Mozambique LNG project led by French energy major TotalEnergies is lawful. According to reports by Reuters, the decision by London’s Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by the environmental group Friends of the Earth. The group argued that financing for the project was permitted after it was incorrectly judged to be compatible with the Paris Agreement and its goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. The total emissions for the new gas field, which research by the environmental group finds would total some 4.5 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHG) over its lifetime – more than the combined annual emissions of all 27 EU countries, were not calculated as part of the government’s approval process or evaluated against global climate goals, the environmentalists warned. At the time of filing the legal challenge, Leigh Day solicitor Rowan Smith, who represented Friends of the Earth, noted that the Court of Appeal’s answer is likely to be a “defining moment in climate change litigation”.

https://www.offshore-energy.biz/report-court-finds-uks-1-15-bln-funding-for-moza...


UKEF signs deal with Egyptian construction titan to boost post-Brexit trade with Africa

(City A.M., London, 20 January 2023) (UK Export Finance has agreed a post-Brexit deal with one of Egypt’s biggest construction and engineering firms, Hassan Allam Holding, to increase cooperation across Africa. Hassan Allam has a vast a portfolio of projects ranging from solar power and water to petrochemicals facilities, museums, airports, and thousands of kilometres of roads and bridges. UKEF has up to £2bn available to support projects in Egypt, as Britain looks to spread its wings after leaving the European Union and trade globally.

https://www.cityam.com/egypt-africa-uk-export-finance-deal/


"Green" Hydrogen: What role for ECAs?

(ECA Watch, Ottawa, 30 January 2023) A series of articles appearing in our Google Alert searches for "export Credit" point to a number of interesting pieces on ECAs and hydrogen. The IEA has forecasted the global green hydrogen market to grow from almost zero in 2021 to 9-14 metric tons per annum (mtpa) in 2030 and 125-300 mtpa by 2050. Exports are expected to account for 12 mtpa of low-carbon hydrogen by 2030, of which approximately 90% is expected to be "green" hydrogen. Today, less than one percent of current hydrogen production is low-carbon. This means most of the hydrogen we make comes from fossil fuel plants that release carbon into the atmosphere. Development of the green hydrogen industry will require substantial capital and the financing for such projects will have to borrow more from the precedents of offshore wind and LNG undertakings, an Oxford Institute for Energy Studies said in its latest study. That study is based on the project financing cost of what it called an ‘archetype’ project wherein 1 GW of solar power is used to make green hydrogen, which is converted to 250,000 tons per annum  green ammonia for export with a capital cost of $2 billion. Last month’s second Green Hydrogen Summit in Muscat brought together leaders in every aspect of the hydrogen value chain from production and transportation to applications and storage.  Spearheaded by the Omani government, the Summit demonstrated the Sultanate’s ambition to be a global leader in green hydrogen.




Comparing Government Financing of Reactor Exports

(Columbia University, New York, 25 August 2022) This report, part of wider work on nuclear energy at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, compares the financing terms offered between 2000 and 2021 by the world’s major exporters of nuclear power plants: Russia, France, the Republic of Korea (ROK), China, and the United States. Decarbonizing the world’s energy supply by 2050 will require financing low-carbon energy projects at a cost of upwards of trillions of dollars. Nuclear energy is one of the few dispatchable low-carbon energy resources, and studies by the International Energy Agency have estimated a possible doubling of nuclear power as part of scenarios for achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury. Large, capital-intensive projects such as nuclear power plants can be challenging for some countries to finance, however. As a result, countries wishing to build nuclear reactors look for attractive financing from supplier nations in the form of loans and equity.

https://www.energypolicy.columbia.edu/publications/comparing-government-financin...


Saudi and Italian ECAs sign MoU to enhance trade cooperation

(Arabian Business, Abu Dhabi, 27 January 2023) The agreement envisages establishing a framework for mutual reinsurance to enhance the presence of Saudi exports in Italian markets. Saudi Export-Import Bank CEO Saad bin Abdul Aziz Alkhalb hailed the agreement as a step forward in the bank’s efforts to improve and diversify Saudi non-oil exports and enhance their competitiveness, in addition to providing funding for Saudi exports and insurance services and export credit insurance with competitive advantages in line with the targets of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to increase the value of non-oil exports from 16 percent to 50 percent of the non-oil GDP.

https://www.arabianbusiness.com/politics-economics/saudi-export-import-bank-and-...


Mexico Expects State Oil Giant Pemex to Pay Its Debt Without Government Help

(Yahoo News, Mexico, 3 January 2023) Mexico’s Finance Ministry expects Petroleos Mexicanos to pay debt coming due in the first quarter without government help. Refinancing debt could include but won’t be limited to bank loans, bond issuance, direct financing or financing guaranteed by export credit agencies. After providing the oil company with financial support in recent years, the Finance Ministry now wants Pemex to foot the bill itself unless it doesn’t have enough cash to do so by the end of the quarter... Pemex is the world’s most indebted oil major, with financial obligations of $105 billion by September 2022. It is under enormous financial strain as the Mexican government wants it to halt oil exports and invest in loss-making refineries — all of which while the company fails to stem long-term production declines. Mexico’s oil driller has 188 billion pesos in amortizations due in 2023 and must maintain zero net indebtedness in real terms, it said in its annual financing plan.

https://news.yahoo.com/mexico-expects-state-oil-giant-184347210.html


Chinese export insurer scales up support for foreign trade

(Xinhua, Beijing, 14 January 2023) SINOSURE stepped up efforts to boost the country's foreign trade in 2022, data from the company showed on Saturday. The insurer handled underwriting totaling 899.58 billion U.S. dollars for insured businesses throughout the year, serving over 170,000 clients, it said.  Of the total, 745.16 billion dollars was short-term export credit insurance, up 10.2 percent year on year. The underwriting for small and medium-sized enterprises amounted to 226.78 billion dollars, a 15.7 percent increase from a year earlier...  The company added that it also increased insurance support to stabilize industrial and supply chains, nurture new business models, and boost services exports. SINOSURE is a state-funded and policy-oriented insurance company that promotes China's foreign economic and trade development and cooperation. It was officially launched and put into operation in 2001, and its service network now covers the whole country.

https://english.news.cn/20230114/fc4382e5ff0548a7b77ce5eee3fc97ea/c.html


Spain's CESCE restricts fossil fuel finance, but leaves major gas loopholes

(Price of Oil, Washington, 23 January 2023) Spain has released a new policy for CESCE, the Spanish government export credit agency, restricting public finance for oil and gas. Spain is a major public financier of international fossil fuel projects, providing USD 2.1 billion a year between 2018-20 to fossil fuels, and USD 47 million per year to clean energy, or 97.8% to fossil fuels and just 2.2% to clean energy. Loopholes include support for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) processing, transportation and storage, as well as a widely-defined loophole for gas power that could mean gas power plants could be approved in most developing countries. This policy falls short of a major pledge Spain made at the 2021 COP26 UN climate summit to stop financing fossil fuel projects.

https://priceofoil.org/2023/01/23/spains-export-credit-agency-restricts-fossil-f...


India extends aid worth USD 3.9 billion to help Sri Lanka face economic crisis

(Asia News Initiative, New Delhi, 14 January 2023) India's EXIM bank and State bank of India extended export credit facilities worth USD 1,500 million to Sri Lanka for the import of essential commodities. India has extended aid worth USD 3.9 billion to help Sri Lanka sustain itself in face of the acute economic and financial crisis and meet its immediate needs such as medicines, cooking gas, oil and food items, Sri Lanka based news publication News 19 reported. In February 2022, India signed an agreement for the supply of petroleum products worth USD 500 million from the Indian Oil Company through a credit line in order to help Sri Lanka overcome its fuel shortage. This was expanded by an additional USD 200 million worth of petroleum products in April 2022.

https://www.aninews.in/news/world/asia/india-extends-aid-worth-usd-39-billion-to...


GE secures €1bn agreement with Polish ECA

(Power Engineering International, Maarssen, 20 January 2023) GE and KUKE, Poland’s Export Credit Agency (ECA), have confirmed a €1 billion ($1.1 billion) export finance co-operation agreement which will help facilitate capital investment, and enable a mix of renewable and gas power projects globally through Polish exports and supply chain. Under the agreement, GE will be the second global organisation to use KUKE’s financial instrument from its new export support programme. KUKE’s financing solutions from the programme serve to encourage industry players to invest, manufacture and export technology around the globe, including new markets, while supporting local supply chains in Poland.

https://www.powerengineeringint.com/nuclear/strategic-development-nuclear/ge-sec...


Uganda cancels $2.2bn Chinese rail contract, signs with Turkey

(The East African, Nairobi, 12 January 2023) After eight years of non-execution, the Uganda government has terminated the contract of China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) to build the country’s first phase of standard gauge railway (SGR), a 273km line from Malaba to Kampala. Kampala says the financing model for the project will also change, with Yapi Merkezi, which is building Tanzania’s SGR, expected to tap into its network to bring Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) on board that will finance and breathe life into the moribund project. The line, starting from the Malaba border post between Uganda and Kenya, was expected to cost $2.2 billion, but the Chinese financiers did not fund the project after casting doubt on Kenya’s SGR reaching the border to link with Uganda’s and making the project viable.

https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/tea/business/uganda-cancels-sgr-contract-chines...


Dutch climate expenditure audit reveals inconsistencies

(Argus Media, Amsterdam, 30 January 2023) The Dutch government does not provide a "clear and complete" overview about the state's climate expenditure, while certain fossil fuel subsidies are "at odds" with domestic climate goals, according to a report by the Dutch court of audit. The court of audit presented its findings to the Dutch parliament on 25 January, noting that the three ministries — economic affairs and climate policy, finance, and climate and energy policy — involved in reporting the state's climate expenditure did not provide consistent information. Dutch export credit agency Atradius — in charge of the country's public financing for foreign fossil fuel projects — ended all financing for export credit insurance as of this year in line with the Glasgow pledge made during the UN climate conference Cop 26 in 2021, while certain exemptions for oil and gas projects remain in place. Projects that ensure European energy supply security by reducing "unwanted" dependencies on Russian oil and gas are among those exemptions granted

https://www.argusmedia.com/en/news/2414260-dutch-climate-expenditure-audit-revea...


Newsletter

Saudi and Italian ECAs sign MoU to enhance trade cooperation

(Arabian Business, Abu Dhabi, 27 January 2023) The agreement envisages establishing a framework for mutual reinsurance to enhance the presence of Saudi exports in Italian markets. Saudi Export-Import Bank CEO Saad bin Abdul Aziz Alkhalb hailed the agreement as a step forward in the bank’s efforts to improve and diversify Saudi non-oil exports and enhance their competitiveness, in addition to providing funding for Saudi exports and insurance services and export credit insurance with competitive advantages in line with the targets of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to increase the value of non-oil exports from 16 percent to 50 percent of the non-oil GDP.

https://www.arabianbusiness.com/politics-economics/saudi-export-import-bank-and-...


Court finds UKEF’s $1.15 bln funding for Mozambique LNG project lawful

(Offshore Energy, Schiedam, 13 January 2023) A London court has ruled that the UK government’s funding of up to $1.15 billion of financing for the Mozambique LNG project led by French energy major TotalEnergies is lawful. According to reports by Reuters, the decision by London’s Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by the environmental group Friends of the Earth. The group argued that financing for the project was permitted after it was incorrectly judged to be compatible with the Paris Agreement and its goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. The total emissions for the new gas field, which research by the environmental group finds would total some 4.5 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHG) over its lifetime – more than the combined annual emissions of all 27 EU countries, were not calculated as part of the government’s approval process or evaluated against global climate goals, the environmentalists warned. At the time of filing the legal challenge, Leigh Day solicitor Rowan Smith, who represented Friends of the Earth, noted that the Court of Appeal’s answer is likely to be a “defining moment in climate change litigation”.

https://www.offshore-energy.biz/report-court-finds-uks-1-15-bln-funding-for-moza...


Comparing Government Financing of Reactor Exports

(Columbia University, New York, 25 August 2022) This report, part of wider work on nuclear energy at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, compares the financing terms offered between 2000 and 2021 by the world’s major exporters of nuclear power plants: Russia, France, the Republic of Korea (ROK), China, and the United States. Decarbonizing the world’s energy supply by 2050 will require financing low-carbon energy projects at a cost of upwards of trillions of dollars. Nuclear energy is one of the few dispatchable low-carbon energy resources, and studies by the International Energy Agency have estimated a possible doubling of nuclear power as part of scenarios for achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury. Large, capital-intensive projects such as nuclear power plants can be challenging for some countries to finance, however. As a result, countries wishing to build nuclear reactors look for attractive financing from supplier nations in the form of loans and equity.

https://www.energypolicy.columbia.edu/publications/comparing-government-financin...


India extends aid worth USD 3.9 billion to help Sri Lanka face economic crisis

(Asia News Initiative, New Delhi, 14 January 2023) India's EXIM bank and State bank of India extended export credit facilities worth USD 1,500 million to Sri Lanka for the import of essential commodities. India has extended aid worth USD 3.9 billion to help Sri Lanka sustain itself in face of the acute economic and financial crisis and meet its immediate needs such as medicines, cooking gas, oil and food items, Sri Lanka based news publication News 19 reported. In February 2022, India signed an agreement for the supply of petroleum products worth USD 500 million from the Indian Oil Company through a credit line in order to help Sri Lanka overcome its fuel shortage. This was expanded by an additional USD 200 million worth of petroleum products in April 2022.

https://www.aninews.in/news/world/asia/india-extends-aid-worth-usd-39-billion-to...


Mexico Expects State Oil Giant Pemex to Pay Its Debt Without Government Help

(Yahoo News, Mexico, 3 January 2023) Mexico’s Finance Ministry expects Petroleos Mexicanos to pay debt coming due in the first quarter without government help. Refinancing debt could include but won’t be limited to bank loans, bond issuance, direct financing or financing guaranteed by export credit agencies. After providing the oil company with financial support in recent years, the Finance Ministry now wants Pemex to foot the bill itself unless it doesn’t have enough cash to do so by the end of the quarter... Pemex is the world’s most indebted oil major, with financial obligations of $105 billion by September 2022. It is under enormous financial strain as the Mexican government wants it to halt oil exports and invest in loss-making refineries — all of which while the company fails to stem long-term production declines. Mexico’s oil driller has 188 billion pesos in amortizations due in 2023 and must maintain zero net indebtedness in real terms, it said in its annual financing plan.

https://news.yahoo.com/mexico-expects-state-oil-giant-184347210.html


GE secures €1bn agreement with Polish ECA

(Power Engineering International, Maarssen, 20 January 2023) GE and KUKE, Poland’s Export Credit Agency (ECA), have confirmed a €1 billion ($1.1 billion) export finance co-operation agreement which will help facilitate capital investment, and enable a mix of renewable and gas power projects globally through Polish exports and supply chain. Under the agreement, GE will be the second global organisation to use KUKE’s financial instrument from its new export support programme. KUKE’s financing solutions from the programme serve to encourage industry players to invest, manufacture and export technology around the globe, including new markets, while supporting local supply chains in Poland.

https://www.powerengineeringint.com/nuclear/strategic-development-nuclear/ge-sec...


Chinese export insurer scales up support for foreign trade

(Xinhua, Beijing, 14 January 2023) SINOSURE stepped up efforts to boost the country's foreign trade in 2022, data from the company showed on Saturday. The insurer handled underwriting totaling 899.58 billion U.S. dollars for insured businesses throughout the year, serving over 170,000 clients, it said.  Of the total, 745.16 billion dollars was short-term export credit insurance, up 10.2 percent year on year. The underwriting for small and medium-sized enterprises amounted to 226.78 billion dollars, a 15.7 percent increase from a year earlier...  The company added that it also increased insurance support to stabilize industrial and supply chains, nurture new business models, and boost services exports. SINOSURE is a state-funded and policy-oriented insurance company that promotes China's foreign economic and trade development and cooperation. It was officially launched and put into operation in 2001, and its service network now covers the whole country.

https://english.news.cn/20230114/fc4382e5ff0548a7b77ce5eee3fc97ea/c.html


Spain's CESCE restricts fossil fuel finance, but leaves major gas loopholes

(Price of Oil, Washington, 23 January 2023) Spain has released a new policy for CESCE, the Spanish government export credit agency, restricting public finance for oil and gas. Spain is a major public financier of international fossil fuel projects, providing USD 2.1 billion a year between 2018-20 to fossil fuels, and USD 47 million per year to clean energy, or 97.8% to fossil fuels and just 2.2% to clean energy. Loopholes include support for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) processing, transportation and storage, as well as a widely-defined loophole for gas power that could mean gas power plants could be approved in most developing countries. This policy falls short of a major pledge Spain made at the 2021 COP26 UN climate summit to stop financing fossil fuel projects.

https://priceofoil.org/2023/01/23/spains-export-credit-agency-restricts-fossil-f...


UKEF signs deal with Egyptian construction titan to boost post-Brexit trade with Africa

(City A.M., London, 20 January 2023) (UK Export Finance has agreed a post-Brexit deal with one of Egypt’s biggest construction and engineering firms, Hassan Allam Holding, to increase cooperation across Africa. Hassan Allam has a vast a portfolio of projects ranging from solar power and water to petrochemicals facilities, museums, airports, and thousands of kilometres of roads and bridges. UKEF has up to £2bn available to support projects in Egypt, as Britain looks to spread its wings after leaving the European Union and trade globally.

https://www.cityam.com/egypt-africa-uk-export-finance-deal/


"Green" Hydrogen: What role for ECAs?

(ECA Watch, Ottawa, 30 January 2023) A series of articles appearing in our Google Alert searches for "export Credit" point to a number of interesting pieces on ECAs and hydrogen. The IEA has forecasted the global green hydrogen market to grow from almost zero in 2021 to 9-14 metric tons per annum (mtpa) in 2030 and 125-300 mtpa by 2050. Exports are expected to account for 12 mtpa of low-carbon hydrogen by 2030, of which approximately 90% is expected to be "green" hydrogen. Today, less than one percent of current hydrogen production is low-carbon. This means most of the hydrogen we make comes from fossil fuel plants that release carbon into the atmosphere. Development of the green hydrogen industry will require substantial capital and the financing for such projects will have to borrow more from the precedents of offshore wind and LNG undertakings, an Oxford Institute for Energy Studies said in its latest study. That study is based on the project financing cost of what it called an ‘archetype’ project wherein 1 GW of solar power is used to make green hydrogen, which is converted to 250,000 tons per annum  green ammonia for export with a capital cost of $2 billion. Last month’s second Green Hydrogen Summit in Muscat brought together leaders in every aspect of the hydrogen value chain from production and transportation to applications and storage.  Spearheaded by the Omani government, the Summit demonstrated the Sultanate’s ambition to be a global leader in green hydrogen.




Heads of G7 Export Credit Agencies Express Support for Ukraine

(UKEF, London, 22 January 2023) Acknowledging the G7 Leaders’ Statement on Support for Ukraine, as heads of the official export credit agency (ECA) schemes of the G7 nations – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America – we wish to express our ongoing support for Ukraine and for its reconstruction efforts and our unwavering solidarity with the Ukrainian people for as long as it takes. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the G7 ECAs have remained open for underwriting Ukrainian business opportunities in solidarity with Ukraine during this difficult time. We also continue to participate in the wider dialogue with other ECAs and multilateral institutions, including within international fora such as the Berne Union, to find ways to enhance cooperation, share information and leverage our collective platforms to bring visibility to and stimulate support for Ukraine.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/heads-of-g7-export-credit-agencies-joint-stat...


What's New for December 2022

What's New!" is a periodic update to keep you informed of the latest on the ECA Watch website. What's New! features a wide range of materials related to the reform of Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) including NGO publications and releases, news articles, commentaries and announcements about the policies and practices of ECAs and ECA-financed projects world-wide.

If you would like to receive "What's New!" simply add your e-mail to the ECA-Action list at www.eca-watch.org today!

Questions? Email info-at-eca-watch.org

See all "What's New!" updates since 2005 here.

  • Germany reveals considation of 10 large international fossil fuel projects worth EUR 1 billion, despite major climate pledge
  • Fitch affirms SACE now under Italian government control
  • Canada to (mostly) stop subsidizing international fossil fuel projects
  • Canada and New Zealand map out pledges to axe ECA fossil fuel support
  • Blocking a Carbon Bomb: Tiwi Islanders prevent $4.7 billion Barossa offshore gas project in Australia
  • What ETMs can and can’t do for coal retirements
  • Australia in talks to help PNG buy $1.1 bln PNG LNG stake
  • Germany accelerates Europe’s “Neo-Scramble for Africa”
  • Germany suspends ECA guarantees for business with Iran amid protests
  • Legal challenge over UK funding of Mozambique gas project goes to appeal court
  • Who watches Czech state’s ECA obligations to big businesses?
  • Are French ECAs ready to join early reconstruction of Ukraine?
  • Poseidon Principles: [Only] 7 of 28 banks in line with IMO’s GHG reduction target
  • Jaguar Land Rover lands UKEF-backed export loan
  • South African exporters assured Export Credit Insurance Corporation now has expanded cover
  • Chinese ECA sees underwriting growth of 9%
  • EU adopts new package of sanctions against Russia

Germany reveals considation of 10 large international fossil fuel projects worth EUR 1 billion, despite major climate pledge

(Oil Change International, Washington, 7 December 2022) A German government State Secretary has revealed a pipeline of fossil fuel projects that shows a lack of seriousness about keeping Germany’s climate promise. The Government stated that it “currently has ten individual applications for cover under review for the granting of an export credit guarantee for supplies and services to Brazil, Iraq, Uzbekistan, the Dominican Republic and Cuba with a total volume of around one billion euros, which are connected with fossil energy projects.” Despite climate rhetoric, Germany still funding more fossil fuels than renewable energy and provides more government-backed international finance for fossil fuels than Saudi Arabia or Russia. Regine Richter, Energy and Finance Campaigner at Urgewald, said: “The German government needs to understand that you can’t say you favour climate protection and at the same time support massive fossil fuel projects. While the German government is tight-lipped about KfW loan applications, the applications for export finance alone add up to more than €1 billion for fossil fuel projects. This must end if we are to stand a chance to stay within the 1.5°C temperature limit.”

https://priceofoil.org/2022/12/07/revealed-german-government-considering-10-larg...


Fitch affirms SACE now under Italian government control

(Fitch, Milan, 29 November 2022) Fitch Ratings has affirmed that SACE's shares were transferred back to the national government from Cassa Depositi e Prestiti SpA (BBB/Stable) in March 2022, changing SACE's mission from an unregulated export credit insurer to a government agency underwriting insurance policies backed by a state guarantee. The Ministry of Finance [now] retains governance rights over SACE and outlines operational features, according to which SACE operates on behalf of the national government.  Fitch expects insurance-related costs to increase in 2023 alongside the macroeconomic volatility triggered by the Russia-Ukraine war and rising commodities prices that could adversely affect Italian export and domestic activities in the short term. SACE's exposure to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus is limited and was fully covered with EUR91 million provision as of June 2022. As we noted last month, the Italian government is considering support for international fossil fuel projects that would emit 3.5 times Italy’s annual emissions, despite major climate promises. Italy is also considering the nationalization of an oil refinery owned by Russian energy giant Lukoil as well as  providing additional guarantees by Italian export credit agency SACE for the purchase of oil outside Russia and selling the refinery to a third-party investor.

https://www.fitchratings.com/research/international-public-finance/fitch-affirms...


Canada to (mostly) stop subsidizing international fossil fuel projects

(Greenpeace, Toronto, 12 December 2022) Canada has joined the growing ranks of nations promising to end international financing of fossil fuels (though there are some worrisome exceptions). The Financial Post immediately warned that without taxpayer subsidies it would be more expensive for private companies to build new fossil fuel projects which… is the whole point of the exercise. The new policy applies across all federal departments, agencies and Crown corporations but will predominantly impact Export Development Canada (EDC), a Crown corporation with a long history of funnelling billions in support to the oil and gas industry. As of January 2023, EDC (and the rest) will have to stop funding (most) fossil fuel projects and redirect those resources to support the clean energy transition.

https://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/story/55800/canada-to-mostly-stop-subsidizi...


Canada and New Zealand map out pledges to axe ECA fossil fuel support

(Global Trade Review, London, 14 December 2022) Canada and New Zealand have mapped out how they will put into action pledges to scrap ECA support for fossil fuel projects, ahead of an end-of-year deadline. At last year’s Cop26 summit in Glasgow, thirty-nine countries vowed to end public finance backing for fossil fuels by the end of 2022, which theoretically bars ECAs and export finance institutions from providing fresh backing for such projects from January 1, 2023. Canada was the second-biggest public financier of fossil fuel projects in the G20 between 2019 and 2021. On the same day, EDC’s fellow ECA New Zealand Export Credit (NZEC) outlined a similar policy to cement its Cop26 commitment, including an end to support for fossil fuel exploration, extraction, transportation, storage and refining, as well as power plants and supporting infrastructure and services. Even for a party which is “in the fossil fuel energy sector” but carrying out an unrelated transaction, “applications may be considered only where that party has a documented and realistic transition plan consistent with a 1.5°C warming limit and the goals of the Paris Agreement [on combating climate change],” the NZEC policy says. The release of NZEC’s policy means there are only five governments that are yet to outline how they will meet their commitments to axing public finance for fossil fuels by the end of this year, according to Oil Change International: Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. Of these, Germany, Italy and Spain agreed earlier this year to publicise their plans to wind down ECA support for fossil fuels as part of the Export Finance for Future (E3F) alliance, but so far have not.

https://www.gtreview.com/news/global/canada-and-new-zealand-make-good-on-pledges...


Blocking a Carbon Bomb: Tiwi Islanders prevent $4.7 billion Barossa offshore gas project in Australia

(Oil Change International, Washington, 14 December 2022) In a landmark decision in September, the Federal Court of Australia ruled that Santos Ltd, one of the world’s top 20 largest oil and gas companies, would not be allowed to drill in the Barossa gas fields off the coast of northern Australia. The Court ruled that Santos had failed to consult Tiwi Traditional Owners. Santos appealed the decision, but this was in vain. Two weeks ago, the appeal was rejected, further solidifying legal victory for the Tiwi Islander Plaintiffs. The Barossa project alone included over $1 billion USD in public finance support from the Japanese and Korean governments’ export credit agencies (ECAs), Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) and Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-Sure). Santos and the Australian Government assured these ECAs that the project approvals were solid, even after Tiwi Island people had warned them about lack of free, prior and informed consent, and despite the fact that extraction from these wells would be completely at odds with Australia’s climate obligations.

https://priceofoil.org/2022/12/14/blocking-a-carbon-bomb-tiwi-islanders-prevent-...


What ETMs can and can’t do for coal retirements

(TXF, London, 30 November 2022) The evolving science of coal plant retirement financing has had a busy couple of weeks with the Asia Development Bank signing a 14 November memorandum of understanding re potential early retirement of the Cirebon Electric Power for unit 1 of the 1,660MW Cirebon coal-fired plant, using the ADB’s Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM). The day after, on the sidelines of the same G20 summit where the Cirebon MOU was signed, the US, Indonesia and a raft of other developed countries launched the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), a $20 billion combination of grants, concessional loans, commercial loans, ECA guarantees, and private investment. The programme will cover a big expansion in renewables, and the retirement of coal capacity whose emissions cannot be rebated. Aside from the summit-friendly but content-light announcements, there was further progress on the first coal retirement financing in Asia for a 244MW Philippino coal plant.

https://www.txfnews.com/articles/7473/What-ETMs-can-and-cant-do-for-coal-retirem...


Australia in talks to help PNG buy $1.1 bln PNG LNG stake

(Reuters, Sydney. 6 December 2022) Papua New Guinea's state-owned Kumul Petroleum is in talks with Australia's export credit agency to help fund a $1.1-billion acquisition of a 5% stake in the PNG LNG project from Santos Ltd (STO.AX). Santos announced in September that Kumul had made a binding offer to buy a 5% stake in PNG LNG from the company for $1.1 billion, subject to the other joint venture partners, which include ExxonMobil Corp and Japan's JX Holdings Inc, waiving their pre-emptive rights to match the offer.

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/australia-talks-help-papua-new-guinea-bu...


Germany accelerates Europe’s “Neo-Scramble for Africa”

(TFI Global News, Noida Uttar Pradesh, 29 December 2023) German-African Business Association: Ever since the Russia-Ukraine war the importance of Africa has skyrocketed. Now every major power today wants to expand their footprint in the continent. Today there is a great surge of foreign interest in Africa. From the US, China, Russia to major European powers like France, UK and Germany, all want a decent share of influence in the African continent. However, are any of the powers actually interested in ensuring the well-being of Africa? The German-African Business Association says that it represents around 85% of German businesses active in Africa. It now wants the government to give greater support through improved conditions for export credit insurance and investment guarantees from the German government.

https://tfiglobalnews.com/2022/12/29/germany-accelerates-the-europes-neo-scrambl...


Germany suspends ECA guarantees for business with Iran amid protests

(Big News Network, Berlin, 29 December 2022) Germany announced that it is formally suspending export credits and investment guarantees for business in Iran, after the brutal crackdown on protests by authorities in Tehran. The instruments suspended are export credit guarantees, which protect German companies from losses due to unpaid exports, as well as investment guarantees, which aim to protect direct investments by German companies from political risk. These instruments for projects in Iran were suspended for decades until there was a "short phase of opening" from 2016, as a result of Iran's agreement with world powers, including Germany, on its nuclear program, the ministry said.

https://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/273283920/germany-suspends-guarantees-for-bu...


Legal challenge over UK funding of Mozambique gas project goes to appeal court

(Drill or Drop, London, 6 December 2022) Government approval of $1.5bn financing for a liquified natural gas project in Mozambique has been challenged at the Court of Appeal this morning (Tuesday 5 December 2022). A year ago, a case brought by Friends of the Earth ended in deadlock, when two High Court judges disagreed on the verdict. The challenge was dismissed so that it could be heard again in the appeal court. Friends of the Earth will argue at the new hearing that the financing, through the government’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), was unlawful. It was permitted, the environmental organisation will say, after the project was incorrectly judged to be compatible with the Paris Agreement on climate change. Friends of the Earth has estimated that the facility would emit 4.5bn tonnes of greenhouse gases over its lifetime – more than the combined annual emissions of the 27 EU countries. The government has until March 2023 to revise its net zero strategy after losing a challenge by Friends of the Earth, ClientEarth and the Good Law Project. The high court ruled that the government should outline exactly how the net zero policies will achieve emissions targets. A decision is due early in 2023.

https://drillordrop.com/2022/12/06/legal-challenge-over-uk-funding-of-mozambique...


Who watches Czech state’s ECA obligations to big businesses?

(Paradise News, Calabar Nigeria, 10 December 2022) Czech state-owned ECA EGAP has obtained a CZK 2 billion (US$88.6M) loan from the Czech Republic’s COVID aid program for Czech steelmaker Liberty Ostrava, which is closely linked to Greensil, a company embroiled in corruption scandal. The Czech government’s COVID-19 aid to large polluters like Liberty Steel Ostrava, which is on the verge of bankruptcy, continues to be a cause for concern.The case is another illustration of the shortage of transparency and accountability in export credit agencies (ECAs). The COVID Plus program in the Czech Republic will provide hundreds of billions of dollars to large exporters, but there is no oversight or regulation. It is the job of the state to explain which projects it backs and give reasons for doing so, but EGAP remains mum on its questionable investments.

https://theparadise.ng/covid-inquiries-who-watches-the-czech-states-obligations-...


Are French ECAs ready to join early reconstruction of Ukraine?

(Odessa Journal, Odessa, 13 December 2022) French business is interested in investing in Ukraine and is ready to participate in its early reconstruction announced First Vice Prime Minister – Minister of Economy of Ukraine, Yuliya Svyridenko, during a live broadcast from Paris on the air of the National Telethon. "We discussed what tools we, as the Government, can use to ensure that French business enters the Ukrainian market and develops Ukraine even before our victory... We offer export credit agencies that provide insurance services for export operations to expand their services to insurance of investment activities and to insure their companies entering Ukraine. We have a list of investment projects and an understanding of their prioritization, and from their side, we have financing and companies ready to invest in Ukraine. And for us, the issue of military risk insurance is important. To help attract investments without waiting for the end of the war. War is not an obstacle to investment. This is a difficult period for us, but we will get through it,” Yulia Svyridenko assured.

https://odessa-journal.com/french-business-is-ready-to-join-the-early-reconstruc...


Poseidon Principles: [Only] 7 of 28 banks in line with IMO’s GHG reduction target

(Offshore Energy Biz, Schiedam, 15 December 2022) Out of the 28 financial institutions reporting their emissions data in the third edition of the Poseidon Principles Annual Disclosure Report 2022, seven banks are aligned with the IMO’s ambition of halving shipping’s GHG emissions by 2050. The Poseidon Principles are a global framework for assessing and disclosing the climate alignment of financial institutions’ shipping portfolios pioneered in 2019 by Citi, Societe Generale, and DNB with the support of the Global Maritime Forum. The voluntary regulatory framework aims to accelerate the implementation of the sector’s green agenda while charting a path forward for banks to decarbonize their own portfolios as well.

https://www.offshore-energy.biz/poseidon-principles-7-out-of-28-banks-in-line-wi...


Jaguar Land Rover lands UKEF-backed export loan

(Institute of Export and International Trade, London, 22 December 2022) In its end of 2022 report, the IEIT notes that UK Export Finance (UKEF) is backing 80% (£500m) of a loan by 12 banks that will support the research, development and export of the next range of battery-powered Range Rovers. Jaguar Land Rover is one of the UK’s largest exporters and employs more than 28,000 staff in the UK. In 2020-21, the company sold 439,588 vehicles in 127 countries, with about 80% of its sales to export markets outside the UK. UKEF backing worth £600 million will also help Ford to expand its electric vehicle production line.

https://www.export.org.uk/news/594264/Jaguar-Land-Rover-lands-UKEF-backed-export...


South African exporters assured Export Credit Insurance Corporation now has expanded cover

(Mail & Guardian, Johannesburg, 1 December 2022) African countries’ borders are becoming more porous, allowing for greater movement of goods and services via the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, but by its nature this comes with a lot of risk. This is where export insurance comes in: to protect an exporter against a foreign buyer’s failure to pay for goods or services for political or commercial reasons. South African companies can count themselves lucky to have export insurance available to them through the Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC), which is an official export credit agency, wholly owned by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition. The AfCFTA is the perfect platform for cross-border trade and a number of opportunities exist. Substantial reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers that will result from the implementation of AfCFTA will indeed increase intra-Africa trade and promote regional economic development. It is unacceptable that Africa, the second largest continental landmass after Asia, with all the resources, accounts for just 4.4% of world trade.

https://mg.co.za/special-reports/2022-12-01-south-african-exporters-can-rest-ass...


Chinese ECA sees underwriting growth of 9%

(Xinhua, Beijing, 26 December 2022) China's only policy-oriented insurer specializing in export credit insurance reported steady business growth in the first 11 months of 2022. The China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation, or SINOSURE, served about 179,000 clients in the January-November period, an increase of 14% year on year. During the period, the company handled underwriting for insured businesses worth a total of US$817.93 billion, up 8.6% year on year. SINOSURE is a state-funded and policy-oriented insurance company that promotes China's foreign economic and trade development and cooperation. It was officially launched and put into operation in 2001, and its service network now covers the whole country

https://english.news.cn/20221226/60c93ba833494ea89ab7a8fe2cfa5641/c.html


EU adopts new package of sanctions against Russia

(Brussels Times, Brussels, 17 December 2022) The Council of the European Union (Council of Ministers) adopted on Friday a package of new measures intended to step up pressure on Russia in response to its ‘continuing war of aggression against Ukraine and the gravity of the current escalation against civilians and civilian infrastructure’. The EU will reinforce the sanctioning of investments by additionally prohibiting new investments in the Russian mining sector, with the exception of mining and quarrying activities involving certain critical raw materials. Export credit guarantees for investments in Russia have already been covered by previous sanction packages.

https://www.brusselstimes.com/338832/eu-adopts-new-package-of-sanctions-against-...


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