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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 June 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!

Japanese Civil Society welcomes halt of Bangladesh & Indonesian coal projects and Russian LNG project

(JACSES, Tokyo, 22 June 2022) It has been reported that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced to halt Official Development Assistance (ODA) to the Matarbari 2 in Bangladesh and the Indramayu coal-fired power project in Indonesia. Both projects have been strongly criticized internationally with repeated calls for the suspension of support, as they not only exacerbate the climate crisis, but also have a huge impact on the livelihoods of local people. However, in Bangladesh, construction of the Matarbari 1 coal-fired projects which has already been supported by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has caused unemployment of many local people who made their livelihoods by salt pans and farming shrimp. And delays in compensation payments and alternative housing have made their lives more difficult. There has also been unauthorized reclamation of riverbed due to dumping sediments which was associated with the construction of an access road. These sites and structures were also planned to be used in Matarbari 2. As noted Japan is one of the world’s largest financiers of oil, gas and coal. In addition Japanese ECA JBIC has suspended funding for Russian gas producer Novatek’s major Arctic LNG project, adding yet further strain to a development that has been hard hit by western sanctions.


G7 ministers pledge end to fossil fuel finance amid signs of backsliding on commitments

(Global Trade Review, London, 1 June 2022) Following talks in Berlin on May 27, G7 climate, energy and environment ministers issued a communique in which they promised to halt new public finance for the unabated fossil fuel sector by the end of the year, except in “limited circumstances clearly defined by each country that are consistent with a 1.5 degrees Celsius warming limit”. All G7 nations bar Japan – one of the world’s largest financiers of oil, gas and coal – made a near identical pledge at the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow in November. [Japan however did join this recent G7 statement.] Data from Oil Change International show G7 countries have upped their exposure to fossil fuels since 2017, despite growing climate concerns. Between 2018 and 2020, they provided US$100bn towards oil, gas and coal projects through export credit agencies (ECAs) or development finance institutions – over four times their contribution towards clean energy. Western ECAs have broadly moved to cut their exposure to fossil fuels, with members of the OECD Arrangement on Officially Supported Export Credits formally banning support for unabated coal-fired power projects in late 2021, despite reported pushback from certain countries, including Japan and Australia, to the proposal.


UKEF named best sustainable finance ECA despite continued review of Mozambique LNG

UK Export Finance (UKEF), was named the world’s best for sustainable finance at the TXF Global Export Finance Conference in Lisbon on Tuesday.June 7 despite its continued promotion of a $1.5 billion LNG project in Mozambique.UKEF claims to allocate £3.6 billion to "sustainable" projects, or 49% of its £7.4 billion 2021/22 expenditures, defining them as clean energy, healthcare and critical infrastructure projects. Critical infrastructure however included £1.1 billion for Turkey's 500 km electric railway, a lower-carbon alternative to current air and road travel, but hardly a "green" investment.Last autumn, Global Trade Review reported the government’s own inquiry into aid provided by the agency, which revealed that nearly 90% of the £12.3bn of support it committed in 2020/21 went to just nine companies. In terms of geographical spread, 92% of UKEF’s support in 2020/21 went to just 10 countries, with Qatar, Egypt and Mozambique together receiving nearly two-thirds of the total.


Kuwait's state oil company seeks JIBC insurance for $1 billion

(Reuters, Kuwait, 7 June 2022) The state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation is seeking to borrow up to $1 billion from banks including HSBC and JPMorgan, according to a parliamentary document reviewed by Reuters. The Kuwait Petroleum Corporation is currently negotiating with the Japanese export credit agency JIBC to provide insurance cover for the financing that the corporation will obtain from a group of international banks, including HSBC and JPMorgan, with a value not exceeding $1 billion for a period of 13 years, The financing will be used for capital expenditure, including on oil and gas production.


European Temporary Short Term Export Credit Aid Extended to Year End

(Lexology, London, 31 May 2022) On 19 March 2020, the European Commission adopted the Temporary Framework on State aid measures to support the economy in the current context of the COVID-19 outbreak. This included, amongst other forms of aid such as grants, advances, tax concessions, loans, etc., aid in the form of short-term export credit insurance... In just over two years after the Temporary Framework's entry into force, the Commission will have enabled Member States to provide rapid and flexible support to companies affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The Commission has in fact adopted more than 1,300 decisions in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, authorising almost 950 national measures for a total amount of State aid estimated at almost EUR 3,200 billion.


Lexology's overview of ECAs

An interesting overview of official export credit agencies and activites. In 2020, the 10 largest MLT export credit volumes were from the ECAs for China (US$18 billion), France (US$12.1 billion), Germany (US$8.6 billion), Italy (US$8.4 billion), South Korea (US$5 billion), Sweden (US$4.7 billion), the United Kingdom (US$3.4 billion), Denmark (US$2.8 billion), Belgium (US$2.5 billion) and India (US$2.3 billion). [However],it should be noted that US EXIM, due to domestic debate on its role, was not able to authorise financings larger than US$10 million between 2015 and 2019. However, it is now reauthorised and can be anticipated to have increasing volumes in coming years. For example, in 2012, its total was approximately US$36 billion, whereas in 2021 its total was approximately US$1.8 billion. While down from 2020, this is reflective of the fact that, in 2020, US EXIM agreed to provide US$4.7 billion for the Mozambique liquefied natural gas (LNG) project alone.Loking at medium and long-term (i.e., over two years) (MLT) export credit volumes, which are most relevant to project financings, Atradius DSB on behalf of the Netherlands in 2020 provided US$1.9 billion of support, whereas Turkey provided only US$1.6 million of support, despite Turkey having a larger gross domestic product (GDP) than the Netherlands.


US EXIM renews supply chain finance for Boeing

(Global Trade Review, London, 1 June 2022) The Export-Import Bank of the United States (US Exim) has bolstered its support for the domestic aviation manufacturing industry, renewing a US$450mn supply chain finance (SCF) guarantee backing sales to Boeing. Under US Exim’s SCF programme, the government agency granted a 90% guarantee for a US$500mn facility from Citi, allowing the bank to finance payments


EU Export Credit Sanctions on Russia

On 3 June 2022 the EU adopted its sixth package of sanctions against Russia and Belarus. These prohibit the purchase, import or transfer of crude oil and certain petroleum products from Russia into the EU, as well as insuring and financing the transport, in particular through maritime routes, of Russian oil to third countries. Prohibitions include import or export advances and all types of insurance and reinsurance, including export credit insurance.


Afreximbank mobilises $35b for African development and national ECAs

(Vanguard, Lagos, 15 June 2022) The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has mobilised a whopping $35 bilion for the development of the continent in the last 4-5 years, with significant support from Nigeria and Egypt. The Central Bank of Egypt has also partnered with Afreximbank to train several African bankers in many areas and Afreximbank was CBE's choice to advise on the creation of a national Export Credit Agency (ECA), as a result of which Afreximbank has now been mandated to do the same in other countries.


ECAs fill in SME trade finance support under Covid supply chain disruption

(Fintech & Finance News, Tunbridge Wells, 1 June 2022) Lack of trade finance for SMEs threatened to bring supply chains to a halt in 2020. SMEs play a critical role in trade – responsible for between 20 and 40 per cent of exports from OECD countries. When it comes to affordable trade finance, they face the biggest barriers, with more than half of trade finance requests by SMEs rejected, compared with seven per cent of multinational corporations’, according to the WTO. The OECD, reflecting on the experience of SMEs in the international supply chain during 2020, said short-term trade finance in all its forms (intra-firm financing, inter-firm financing, or more dedicated tools such as letters of credit, advance payment guarantees, performance bonds, and export credit insurance or guarantees) was critically hard to come by – but not because the cost to banks of providing that liquidity had increased. That forced SMEs to fall back on government agencies to stay in business: the Export-Import Bank of the United States, one of the largest providers of short-term government export support, for example, reported a 112 per cent increase in working capital guarantees and a 12 per cent increase in short-term export credit insurance during 2020. According to an OECD survey, 64 per cent of export credit agencies took measures that year to increase working capital support because private liquidity simply wasn’t forthcoming.


German export credit for emergency export of Ukranian grain

(Mass News, 13 June 2022) The German government is working to expedite the export of Ukrainian grain by rail, with plans being considered to establish a special fund to pay for the project. To facilitate the creation of a “grain bridge” Berlin is mulling setting up a special fund to purchase wagons as well as providing an export credit guarantee to carriers. Additional assistance could be provided to transfer terminals at the Ukrainian border because the country’s railway network uses a broader gauge than neighboring nations. German officials believe up to 10 million tons of grain could be transported out of Ukraine by rail. Ukraine has lost access to most of its ports after Russian forces took control of several regions in the south of Ukraine.


Danish ECA EKF to back French offshore wind project

KfW IPEX-Bank, together with Crédit Agricole CIB, Banco Santander, S.A., Mizuho Bank, European Investment Bank (EIB), and the Danish Export Credit Agency (EKF), has decided to finance the 30 MW Eoliennes Flottantes du Golfe du Lion (EFGL) floating wind project offshore France. “Fixed offshore wind farms can only be operated economically up to a certain sea depth. Floating wind farms will open up deeper waters. This gives us the opportunity to expand offshore wind power much more and drive the decarbonisation of energy generation faster worldwide”, said Dr Velibor Marjanovic, member of the Management Board of KfW IPEX-Bank. The project, which is one of the world’s first commercially financed floating offshore wind farms, is located in the Mediterranean Sea, more than 16 kilometres offshore from Leucate, Aude, and Le Barcarès, Pyrénées-Orientales. It is scheduled to be commissioned at the end of 2023 and will operate for 20 years.


Russian war on Ukraine triggers conflict over ECAs and African oil

(ECA Watch, Ottawa, 30 June 2022) Sanctions on Russian fossil fuel exports have generated conflict over ECA support for African fossil fuel development. Existing ECA African projects include, for example, UKEF's reluctance to end discussion of Mozambique's LNG project, JIBC's talks with Kuweit's state oil company and innumerable others. The Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change report called out commercial banks and export credit agencies for the role they are still playing in financing fossil fuel investments. Adding to this pressure, Mary Robinson, ex-UN climate envoy, now says Africa's need for energy is so great it should be able to widely exploit its fossil fuel deposits.  Some back the idea that African gas can be exploited while the EU and developed countries find green alternatives. Others see an African dash for gas as a potential disaster. Nnimmo Bassey and Anabela Lemos state that “far from generating prosperity and stability in sub-Saharan Africa, investments in fossil fuels cause real harm,” noting “Decades of fossil fuel development have failed to deliver energy to much of the continent and have built economic models dependent on extraction that have deepened inequality, caused environmental damage, stoked corruption, and encouraged political repression.”

What's New May 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.

  • Italy's SACE joins major banks to reject finance for Total's EACOP
  • Korean court dismisses indigenous challenge to Australian ECA gas project financing
  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urges ECAs to strengthen standards
  • UK Green Trade and "de-Putinizing" the world economy
  • Berne Union reports uncertain trade credit insurance bounce back
  • 122 CSOs warn there is only six months left to meet joint COP26 commitments
  • Boeing Reports Increased Stability and Growth for Aircraft Finance Sector
  • Spanish ECA's US$1.3 billion loan to PetroPeru pushes delayed audit
  • State aid: EU Commission approves Danish short-term export credit scheme
  • Etihad Credit to play a role in UAE's move away from oil
  • EDC launches program to guarantee bank loans to companies in carbon intensive sectors
  • 70% of Indian exporters’ payments stuck in Russia have come in
  • Dutch government offers export credit insurance to new Manila airport
  • NEXIM promotes Nigerian Non-oil Exports for Fiscal Sustainability

Italy's SACE joins major banks to reject finance for Total's EACOP

(Banktrack, Nijmegen, 20 May 2022) The coalition to #StopEACOP celebrates this week’s news that five banks including Deutsche Bank, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley have confirmed they will not join the project loan to finance the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). They are joined by the insurer Beazley Group and the Italian export credit agency SACE. This takes the number of banks that want nothing to do with the EACOP project loan to 20 and the number of insurers to eight. The list of banks rejecting the project includes seven of Total’s ten largest lenders. However Eacop's executives from the Ugandan government and oil companies remained confident that the financing package for the project will be tied up in two months.


Korean court dismisses indigenous challenge to Australian ECA gas project financing

(Global Trade Review, London, 25 May 2022) A South Korean court has dismissed an application by traditional owners in Australia for an injunction to prevent South Korean public finance institutions from supporting a proposed gas export project. Representatives of the Tiwi Islander and Larrakia indigenous peoples in northern Australia launched legal proceedings in March to stop the South Korea Export-Import Bank (Kexim) and export credit insurer K-Sure from extending A$964mn (US$725mn) in financing and insurance to the Barossa gas project. But this week Seoul’s Central District Court threw out the application,


UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urges ECAs to strengthen standards

(UN Human Rights Office, Geneva, 6 May 2022) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, recommends how to improve human rights impacts of global supply chains, as requested by the German Presidency of the G7. She noted that achieving sustainable supply chains will also require integration of international standards on responsible business conduct across investment and trade policy. Export credit agencies and export-import banks for example are key players involved in supporting parts of global supply chain operations. Yet their lack of multilateral engagement in recent years has had a negative impact on their capacity to update and align their standards either to the UNGPs or to high-level commitments made by their own governments. Improving the human rights performance of export credit agencies is an important lever for fostering sustainable supply chains. As an obvious first step, governments should heighten the obligations of the Export Credit Group’s Recommendation on Common Approaches regarding human rights and international standards on responsible business conduct. Accelerating efforts to advance implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in global supply chains is a crucial step forward to do this.


UK Green Trade and "de-Putinizing" the world economy

(Institute of Export and International Trade, London, 18 May 2022) UK International trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan has said green trade is central to growing the UK’s economy, achieving net zero and driving prosperity, as well as “De-Putinising” the global economy by cutting reliance on Russian oil and gas. Trevelyan said the Ukraine conflict underlined the need to phase out imports of Russian oil and gas, adding “These past months have highlighted the need to accelerate our journey as a global community away from hydrocarbons. To decisively turn our backs on the era of dependence on polluting fuels, and transition to a net zero future.” The minister also announced two new ‘green’ deals for British exporters to be delivered by UKEF, a £138m loan guarantee for electric power manufacturer Megger and a £50m sustainability-linked loan to construction company Mace.


Berne Union reports uncertain trade credit insurance bounce back

(Global Trade Review, London, 18 May 2022) A more stable trade environment helped generate US$117.7bn in new medium to long-term trade credit insurance business in the second half of 2021, according to freshly released data, although soaring inflation threatens to undercut the bounce back. A data snapshot released by the Berne Union, the export credit industry association, shows the medium to long-term sector beginning to rebound from the pandemic, with the US$117bn of new business representing growth of 13% compared to the same period in 2020, but still 12% down on pre-pandemic levels. Short-term trade credit insurance has also notched up continuous growth – rising 14% on the second half of 2019 and 12% on the second half of 2020 to US$2.45 trillion. In a statement released following its spring meetings in Istanbul, the Berne Union says that growth of 12% across all trade insurance types in the second half of 2021, compared to the same period in 2020, is “somewhat complicated” by the gradual rise in inflation last year, in addition to “fluctuating” exchange rates.


122 CSOs warn there is only six months left to meet joint COP26 commitments

(Oil Change International, Washington, 19 May 2022) Today, 122 civil society groups are releasing letters to eleven government signatories to the Glasgow Statement on International Public Support for the Clean Energy Transition, laying out the actions they must take as soon as possible to meet their commitment. In their joint statement at COP26, 35 countries and 5 public finance institutions committed to end their international public finance for ‘unabated’ fossil fuels by the end of 2022, and instead prioritise their “support fully towards the clean energy transition.” The Glasgow Statement has the potential to directly shift at least USD $24 billion a year in influential trade and development finance from governments away from oil, gas, and coal. The $24 billion per year quoted above is from the open-access Public Finance for Energy Database (energyfinance.org), a project of Oil Change International. ECAs are consistently the worst public finance actors for the climate, providing 11 times more support for fossil fuels than renewable energy in 2018-2020.


Boeing Reports Increased Stability and Growth for Aircraft Finance Sector

(Yahoo Finance, 2 May 2022) Boeing has released their 2022 Commercial Aircraft Financing Market Outlook (CAFMO) showing improving financing stability as the industry recovers from the impacts of the global pandemic. For the second consecutive year, 100% of Boeing deliveries were financed by third parties, with the top sources of delivery funding coming from cash, capital markets and sale leasebacks. ECA supported financing for Boeing aircraft contributed about 5% of total funding last year, primarily by the Export-Import Bank of the United States and with one deal supported by UK Export Finance. The Boeing 2021 Commercial Market Outlook, a separate annual 20-year forecast addressing the market for commercial airplanes and services, projects that through 2040 there will be demand more than 43,500 new airplanes valued at $7.2 trillion.


Spanish ECA's US$1.3 billion loan to PetroPeru pushes delayed audit

(Paris Beacon-News, Paris, 5 May 2022) Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) will carry out the external audit of the 2021 financial statements of the state company Petroperú in an effort to recover the confidence of creditors, bondholders, banks and risk rating agencies and hopefully allow negotiation of a request for consent from bondholders and the Spanish Export Credit News (CESCE) to reschedule presentation of last year’s financial statements. CESCE granted PetroPeru a loan of US$1,300 million in 2018 for the modernization of the Talara refinery and, a year earlier, Petroperú placed US$2,000 million in bonds in international debt markets to finance the same project, which has started performance tests last April. The recent PetroPeru crisis led debt rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Fitch to reduce Petroperú’s credit rating due to a lack of financial transparency, exacerbated by the delay in having last year’s financial statements audited. Petroperu was downgraded earlier this month to junk by credit agencies after accounting firm PwC declined to audit the company's financial statements in the middle of a corporate governance crisis in which Petroperu's previous CEO Hugo Chavez resigned on amid allegations that he had improperly hired a company to provide him with personal security and people were saying audit firms did not feel comfortable enough to audit Petroperu while Chavez was in charge. On top of this, PetroPeru is demanding compensation of up to $34.5 million from the Spanish oil giant Repsol after freak waves from a volcanic eruption near Tonga caused an oil spill described as the worst ecological disaster to hit Peru in recent history, claiming that Repsol's Pampilla refinery “apparently” did not have a contingency plan for an oil spill.


State aid: EU Commission approves Danish short-term export credit scheme

(European Commission, Brussels, 4 May 2022) The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, the reintroduction of a Danish short-term export credit scheme. Under the scheme, the Danish State can cover risks of single export transactions. The scheme was originally approved in April 2013, prolonged in December 2015 and expired in December 2020. In February 2022, Denmark notified its intention to reintroduce the scheme, which will run until 31 December 2025. The Commission found that the measure is necessary, as there is a lack of private insurers covering single export transactions (i.e. insurance provided on a transaction-by-transaction basis rather than on the entire export portfolio of a company)


Etihad Credit to play a role in UAE's move away from oil

(Gulf Today, Dubai, 15 May 2022) Massimo Falcioni, CEO of Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI), the official export support agency of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), welcomed Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s election as the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and his role in steering the UAE economy towards independence from oil. In this process, Greek and Turkish ECAs have recently signed cooperation agreements with Etihad Credit. Greece, keen to attract investment from the UAE, has agreed to create a €4 billion ($4.22bn) initiative to invest in the Greek economy during a visit by Greek premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Abu Dhabi on May 9th. Last year, the countries’ official export credit agencies signed an agreement to boost bilateral trade. In 2020, the two states inked a foreign policy and defense cooperation deal. A cooperation agreement has also been signed between Türk Eximbank and ECI The signing of the deal occurred amid the 2022 spring meeting in Istanbul of the International Association of Export Credits and Investment Insurers, also known as Berne Union, of which Türk Eximbank became a member in 1994. The said agreement aims to provide co-financing for projects involved in the export of goods and services in both countries, as well as sharing information between institutions.


EDC launches program to guarantee bank loans to companies in carbon intensive sectors

(Globe & Mail, Toronto, 2 May 2022) Export Development Canada has agreed to partly guarantee $1-billion of loans which the Bank of Montreal plans to make to companies in carbon-intensive industries in order to help them lower their emissions, reducing the risks of the bank’s foray into funding an urgent but uncertain energy transition. The three-year guarantee agreement will provide financing for medium-to-large-sized Canadian companies, rather than the largest corporate entities, which have easier access to capital. EDC will guarantee up to half of BMO’s term loans to a maximum of US$60-million per borrower for up to seven years. It is an early result of a federal effort to help reduce the risks of funding investments in early-stage technologies that could be crucial to cutting greenhouse-gas emissions, such as carbon capture or hydrogen fuel.


70% of Indian exporters’ payments stuck in Russia have come in

(Live Mint, India, 5 May 2022) As much as 70–80% of the payments for goods that were shipped to Russia before the Ukraine war have been coming in, a government official privy to the matter told Mint, comforting exporters. Exporters had claimed that about $500 million in payments were stuck after the war began in February. Stuck dues had become a pain point for Indian exporters, especially after Russia was cut off from the SWIFT payment gateway. In FY21 India’s exports to Russia stood at $2.6 billion, while imports were $5.5 billion. A number of exporters told Mint that those shipping goods to Russia were not being uniformly given insurance cover, which is provided by the state-owned Export Credit Guarantee Corporation, compounding their problems.


Dutch government offers export credit insurance to new Manila airport

(Business Mirror, Makati City, 25 May 2022) SAN Miguel Corp. on Wednesday said it received support for the P740-billion (US$14 billion) new Manila International Airport (NMIA) project in Bulacan following the approval of the Dutch government, represented by Atradius Dutch State Business (DSB) of export credit insurance to Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V., to cover its 1.5-billion euro contract for land development works at the airport project site in Bulakan, Bulacan. The approval comes after more than a year of “rigorous” review of the project’s long-term environmental and social impact mitigation measures to ensure that the multi-billion project is done with sustainability in mind and aligned with the country’s climate ambitions. It is the largest export credit agency insurance policy granted in the 90-year history of Atradius. The airport project will feature four parallel runways, a terminal and an interlinked infrastructure network that includes expressways and railways.


NEXIM promotes Nigerian Non-oil Exports for Fiscal Sustainability

(This Day, Lagos, 8 May 2022) Amidst the present administration’s current efforts aimed at diversifying the base of the Nigerian economy from the perils of oil, the need to provide adequate funding and attention to the non-oil export sector cannot be over-emphasised. Analysts have contended that most of the economic challenges bedeviling the country could simply be addressed by boosting local production and strengthening its non-oil export potential. Abba Bello, Head of the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), notes that its Export Development Fund (EDF) had led to the processing of 442 Applications worth N461 billion and $43.69 million, out of which N214.65 billion had been approved while N153.03 billion had been disbursed to 101 beneficiaries, as well as approvals totaling N55.85 billion which were undergoing the pre-disbursement process. Bello said so far, $492.97 million and €1.17 million, translating into N196.32 billion, have been received as export proceeds from projects that have repatriated their income, while others are yet to complete the transaction circle, adding that many of the institutions supported by the bank now feature on the list of top 100 exporters published annually by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). NEXIM Bank is further taking steps to position Nigerian exporters to benefit from the unfolding opportunities offered by AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Agreement), following the recent exit of Britain from the European Union and the prospects in other regions. The bank is therefore taking measures to increase its funding capacity towards boosting lending support thereby increasing foreign exchange earnings for the country and facilitating employment generation.


What's New April 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.

  • UN Secretary General: Some governments & business leaders say one thing but do another. Simply put they're lying.
  • Greenwashing won't cut it: Canada risks disaster by barely mentioning financial sector in climate plan
  • Indigenous Australians Derail Controversial Barossa Gas Project by Suing South Korean ECA
  • Oil Change International launches database to expose the institutions using our money to fund fossils
  • UKEF hands billions to projects linked to labour abuse and climate damage
  • UKEF faces further legal action over Mozambique LNG project
  • LNG Exports Seen Benefiting From EXIM Financing
  • The 900-Mile EACOP East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline Is a Bad Deal for My Country — and the World
  • Global Trade Review Editorial: Encouraging yet disheartening
  • U.S. EXIM Bank formalizes Russia pullout; approves Sri Lanka, Albania, Iraq deals
  • Sinosure scales up financial support for green industries
  • Swedish ECA studying new import guarantee fund
  • Aeroflot negotiating purchase of 8 ECA financed Airbus aircraft

UN Secretary General: Some governments & business leaders say one thing but do another. Simply put they're lying.

(Brisbane Times, Brisbane, 11 April 2022) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report, with its direct language and whole chapter on finance, should be a wake-up call to those in the business community who are avoiding taking genuine action on climate change. United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres didn’t mince his words when he introduced the report to the world, bluntly stating that investing in “new fossil fuel infrastructure is moral and economic madness.”  The report calls out commercial banks and export credit agencies for the role they are still playing in financing fossil fuel investments. He notes that "Some government and business leaders are saying one thing – but doing another. Simply put, they are lying."


Greenwashing won't cut it: Canada risks disaster by barely mentioning financial sector in climate plan

(National Observer, Vancouver, 6 April 2022) Canada’s recently published emissions reduction plan provides a roadmap for how Ottawa plans to hit its 2030 climate targets, but critics say until the financial sector is aligned with climate goals, the government's plans are “derelict.” Environmental Defence’s climate finance manager Julie Segal says Canada appears excited about the benefits of sustainable finance but doesn’t appreciate the risks from continued fossil fuel investments. First, there's the systemic risk from climate change and how the financial sector and financial regulators approach that, and then there's the piece about how the financial sector is contributing to climate change through investments,” she said. “And Canada is being derelict on those accounts.” The 271-page emissions reduction plan contains [only] 4 pages dedicated to “sustainable finance” that outline at a high level a few of the federal government’s initiatives. However, Segal says the brief attention to financial issues in the plan, when compared to the detail offered for other sectors, shows Ottawa isn’t grasping the importance of the file. “Part of the reason they're not getting it is because the Sustainable Finance Action Council — all of the work on sustainable finance — is very much led by industry,” she said. “The federal government hasn't thought about finance and climate properly. They just haven't really understood what's going on here,” said Adam Scott, director of Shift Action for Pension Wealth and Planet Health. Greenwashing won’t cut it because real emissions reductions are needed to protect the economy at large from ever-worsening natural disasters and the economic impacts of climate change. Page 5 of a recent Oil Change International report shows that Canada leads the world in its public finance support for fossil fuel investments.


Indigenous Australians Derail Controversial Barossa Gas Project by Suing South Korean ECA

(VICE, Brooklyn, 6 April 2022) The South Korean government has shelved plans to pour $700 million into a massive $4.7 billion gas project in Australia’s Timor Sea far north offshore after Tiwi Island Indigenous leaders from the region took them to court, according to government meeting notes seen by VICE. The Export-Import Bank of Korea pulled the handbrake on part of a mammoth $US700 million investment into the controversial Barossa gas project in Australia’s Northern Territory last month. “Not only is the Barossa gas project more polluting than other existing gas fields, but it also faces business uncertainty with its incomplete carbon capture and storage scheme, and plummeting long-term liquified natural gas demand,” said Hye-Young, South Korean National Assembly representative. ABC Australia reports that South Korea's K-SURE and Japan's JBIC have approved their financing, so the project's financing hinges on KEXIM. Larrakia and Tiwi Islander traditional owners, along with an international coalition of anti-gas groups, are targeting plans for a $4.7 billion Barossa gas development, to be built and operated by Santos, in waters about 300 kilometres north of Darwin. Conversation Canada has noted that this Tiwi Islands offshore gas fight shows public banks are under real pressure over fossil fuel funding. They note that Public financial institutions are under renewed pressure to change lending practices after the world’s leading climate scientists strongly warned against any new fossil fuel infrastructure. In our region, public banks in China, Japan, and South Korea now face unprecedented scrutiny for their role in financing the climate crisis. While export credit agencies are not the only funders of oil, gas and coal infrastructure, and not the largest either, they have been instrumental in developing many of the world’s most carbon intensive sectors. How? By locking in fossil fuel energy systems, leveraging private finance by reducing risk premiums, and shaping international standards which influence private bank policies. In short, they have played a key role in enabling fossil fuel expansion. For decades, these state supported agencies have gone under the radar. No longer. Scrutiny is increasing of their work borrowing from national treasuries or public capital markets to finance export-oriented fossil fuel projects.


Oil Change International launches database to expose the institutions using our money to fund fossils

(Oil Change, Washington, 28 April 2022) Public finance institutions shape our future energy systems. They are uniquely positioned to catalyze a just, transformative, and rapid transition to clean energy and a livable future — if we can hold them accountable to their public-interest mandates. But the decade-plus of data Oil Change International has collected for the newly launched Public Finance for Energy Database (energyfinance.org) shows most influential international public finance institutions are failing to take the very first step: stop funding fossil fuels. The headline finding of our database is that G20 countries’ trade, export credit and development finance institutions and the major multilateral development banks (MDBs) provided at least $63 billion each year to coal, oil, and gas projects between 2018 and 2020. That is 2.5 more than the support for clean energy by the same institutions over the same period. In addition to this critique, the report notes that there is momentum growing to end public finance for fossil fuels and shift this to support a just energy transition, with 39 countries and institutions committing to do this by the end of 2022 under the Glasgow Statement at COP26.


UKEF hands billions to projects linked to labour abuse and climate damage

(The Guardian, London, 31 March 2022) UK Export Finance used £5.24bn of taxpayer money to fund overseas energy and infrastructure ventures despite its own review raising concerns over labour abuses and environmental damage. Since 2019, UKEF has allocated £5.24bn of taxpayer money to projects with the potential to cause “significant adverse environmental and/or social impacts” in countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, according to calculations by the Guardian based on disclosures made by UKEF. Oil refineries, power stations, and a large-scale liquified natural gas (LGN) project are among the high-risk “Category A projects”, to receive funding recently. UKEF undertook environmental and human rights reviews of the projects ahead of granting the funding. Despite recommendations to mitigate labour abuses, six migrant workers employed on Middle Eastern projects backed by UKEF have revealed low pay, safety hazards, excessive working hours, and the denial of freedom of movement as persistent issues. Daniel Willis, policy and campaigns manager at Global Justice Now said that “Human rights considerations are an afterthought, and due diligence seems to be approached as if it is just a box to tick.” A review of an oil refinery upgrade programme in Kuwait, obtained by a freedom of information request, shows that UKEF knew of worker issues before it provided a $179m (£135m) support package in 2019. Employees and contractors were commonly working more than the maximum overtime hours allowed by legislation, and 87% of workers surveyed had not received an employment contract, according to the UKEF’s review. About 90% of workers at Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) had also been charged illicit recruitment fees to secure their jobs. Before awarding it $500m in 2019, a UKEF review flagged the Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) oil refinery expansion project as having “forced and child labour and worker health and safety as potential project risks”.


UKEF faces further legal action over Mozambique LNG project

(Global Trade Review, London, 20 April 2022) Friends of the Earth says it will continue its fight against UKEF's decision to provide US$1.15bn of support to a natural gas project in Mozambique, after a split judgement from two UK High Court judges. In a judgement handed down last month, Justice Stuart-Smith dismissed Friends of the Earth’s claim, ruling that UKEF’s assessment of the climate change impacts of the project was lawful. But the second judge hearing the case, Justice Thornton, found that UKEF had failed to take climate impacts properly into consideration and ministers who approved the financing package did not have access to enough information to make a decision. The project under development by Total includes two offshore gas fields and a liquefaction plant with capacity of some 13 million tonnes per year. UKEF is among eight other export credit agencies and 19 commercial banks financing the project, in what Total says is the largest project finance deal ever struck in Africa. When fully operational it is expected to significantly lift Mozambique’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, however its proponents say that it may lead to an overall shrinking of emissions because some buyers will use the exported gas to switch from fuel sources such as coal and oil. During the course of the judicial review, arguments focused on a climate change impact report produced by UKEF which was provided to ministers who had input into the funding decision. The report relied heavily on an assessment by energy consultants Wood Mackenzie and Wood Mackenzie acknowledged that the report had severe limitations due to the difficulty of knowing where and how the exported gas would be used. An internal UKEF email described the report as “very light and [it] makes high level assumptions”. Total suspended construction of the Mozambique project and evacuated workers after insurgent attacks in early 2021, delaying the expected start of production to 2025. The company’s chief executive Patrick Pouyanne told Reuters in February that the company plans to restart construction sometime this year.


LNG Exports Seen Benefiting From EXIM Financing

(Bloomberg, Washington, 13 April 2022) The U.S. Export-Import Bank approved a plan Thursday that could yield a flood of financing for U.S. energy ventures, including wind and solar projects, battery manufacturing and terminals to sell LNG overseas. The bank’s board voted 3-0 on a formal policy shift encouraged by the Biden administration that would extend support to domestic manufacturing and infrastructure projects that facilitate exports. The agency plans to prioritize financing for green projects, from renewable power ventures to clean energy manufacturing. The initiative would apply to non-energy ventures too, including the manufacture of semiconductors, biotech and biomedical gear. Environmentalists and natural gas advocates say the initiative could also bolster a host of LNG export terminals proposed from the U.S. Gulf Coast to Alaska, especially given the Biden administration’s efforts to supplant Russian energy in Europe with U.S. supplies. Shipments of U.S. natural gas have surged over the past few years. While advocacy groups for the U.S. LNG sector quickly welcomed the plan, saying it could help projects overcome funding challenges and support thousands of jobs, environmentalists expressed concern that new LNG financing could take money away from renewable energy. As the U.S. attempts to bring down the soaring price of energy, financing from a New Deal–era agency could be used to ramp up domestic gas production. It is planning those controversial investments with almost no opportunity for public review. Now, under pressure from LNG interests, Exim may double down on its investment in fracked gas through a domestic financing program President Biden has created to strengthen supply chains.


The 900-Mile EACOP East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline Is a Bad Deal for My Country — and the World

(New York Times, Kampala, 8 April 2022) Vanessa Nakate, Ugandan climate justice activist, notes that this week, the panel of climate experts convened by the UN delivered a clear message: To stand a chance of curbing dangerous climate change, we can’t afford to build more fossil fuel infrastructure. We must also rapidly phase out the fossil fuels we’re using. In moments like this, the media rarely focuses on African countries like mine, Uganda. When it does, it covers the impacts — the devastation we are already experiencing and the catastrophes that loom. They are right to: Mozambique has been battered in recent years by cyclones intensified by climate change. Drought in Kenya linked to climate change has left millions hungry. In Uganda, we are now more frequently hit by extreme flash floods that destroy lives and livelihoods. Africa isn’t only a victim of the climate crisis, but also a place where infrastructure decisions made in the coming years will shape how it unfolds. TotalEnergies, a French energy company, this year announced a $10 billion investment decision, which involves a nearly 900-mile oil pipeline from Kabaale, Uganda, to a peninsula near Tanga, Tanzania. From there, the oil would be exported to the international market. Despite local opposition, TotalEnergies and a partner, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, have pushed ahead. The project might have a difficult time securing additional financing, as many banks have already ruled out the project. The multinational insurance company Munich Re has also vowed not to insure it, at least in part because of the harm it would do to the climate. An estimated 14,000 households will lose land, according to Oxfam International, with thousands of people set to be economically or physically displaced. There are reports that compensation payments offered to some communities are completely insufficient. In other news, Ugandan NGOs have written to German and Italian ECAs asking them to not finance EACOP, noting that if constructed the pipeline will be the longest electrically heated crude oil pipeline in the world, will transport 216,000 barrels of crude oil per day at peak production, will displace over 86,000 people from 5,172 hectares of land in Uganda and Tanzania, affect nearly 2,000 sq.km of protected areas, a quarter of which are habitats for endangered species, threaten the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Lakes Albert and Victoria fishers in Uganda and the DRC and result in the production of over 34.3 million metric tonnes of carbon per year, roughly 7 times Ugana's annual emissions when the oil is burnt.


Global Trade Review Editorial: Encouraging yet disheartening

(Global Trade Review, London, 11 April 2022) Momentum continues to build around environmental, social and governance efforts in trade and trade finance. Every week, we report on encouraging new developments, including a recent decision by the European Council that gives export credit agencies (ECAs) in the EU until the end of 2023 to set deadlines for ending support for fossil fuels; the formation of the Climate Working Group, a new initiative convened by the Berne Union bringing together ECAs and other insurers and financiers to accelerate climate action; as well as the much-anticipated launch of a pilot of a new ESG scoring tool for measuring country, supply chain and company activity against EU and UN sustainability goals. Other developments have been less heartening. The annual Banking on Climate Chaos report, a comprehensive global analysis on fossil fuel financing released as this publication goes to press, documents that in the six years since the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the world’s 60 largest private banks poured US$4.6 trillion [yes trillion] into fossil fuels. As much as US$742bn of support was provided in 2021 alone. The report, co-authored by NGOs including BankTrack, Sierra Club and Oil Change International, includes a timeline that lays out how banks that joined the Net-Zero Banking Alliance last year simultaneously financed “some of the most egregious oil and gas expansion companies”. In this publication, we take a closer look at these and other issues impacting on ESG and trade.


U.S. EXIM Bank formalizes Russia pullout; approves Sri Lanka, Albania, Iraq deals

(Reuters, Washington, 31 March 2022) The U.S. EXIM's board of directors on Thursday voted to formalize the bank's withdrawal from any further business in Russia and approved financing and to guarantee deals worth up to $381 million for Iraq, Sri Lanka and Albania. The board also voted to notify Congress of a proposed renewal of a $450 million credit guarantee to Citibank that backs a $500 million facility to allow 365 suppliers of aircraft maker Boeing to receive accelerated receivables payments related to export sales of Boeing aircraft. The formal closing of Russian business follows an announcement last week by EXIM and export credit agencies in Britain and Canada to withdraw all support from Russia and Belarus in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. EXIM previously had an administrative hold prohibiting Russian business since Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014. EXIM still has $410 million in prior credit exposure to Russia, primarily for aviation sector loan guarantees that were granted before Crimea's annexation. Meanwhile, it’s not clear how many of the 500 or so foreign-owed planes stuck in Russia are potentially eligible for the exception, or which owners will be able to apply. Most of the aircraft are on operating leases vs fixed term rental contracts.


Sinosure scales up financial support for green industries

(Xinhua, Beijing, 17 April 2022) China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure) says it has stepped up support for the country's green industries by providing more export credit insurance. Since the start of 2021, the company has insured over 150 green projects, with the sum insured reaching around 7.7 billion U.S. dollars.  Sinosure has also strengthened its financial support to green projects under the Belt and Road Initiative and helped domestic companies explore overseas green and low-carbon markets. Take the photovoltaic industry as an example. Sinosure has helped facilitate the export of photovoltaic products worth over 130 billion U.S. dollars from 286 companies since 2005. Looking to the future, Sinosure will continue to explore green finance innovation, promote the integration of green finance and green industries, increase support for green industries and green projects, and give better play to the role of export credit insurance, the company said.


Swedish ECA studying new import guarantee fund

(Regeringen, Stockholm, 12 April 2022) Google translation. The Swedish Riksdag has proposed a budget amendment for 2022 that would authorize the government to issue guarantees of up to SEK 3 billion (US$305 million) for the purpose of insuring critical raw material imports for industry, to be administered by the Swedish Export Credit Agency (EKN). The new government guarantee is intended to support the green transition threatened by increased demand for critical raw materials and increases in raw material prices which have risen markedly since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The raw material guarantee would fall under EKN's sustainability policy and hence EKN must take into account its guaranteeing of the environment, extraction of fossil fuels, human rights and working conditions, combating corruption and tax evasion and promoting sustainable lending to poor countries. As the credit guarantee is linked to the import of raw materials, unlike EKN's other range of export credit guarantees, a new regulation is required and a Proposal for a new regulation went out for consultation on 25 March.


Aeroflot negotiating purchase of 8 ECA financed Airbus aircraft

(AssumeTech, Iceland, 21 April 2022) Aeroflot is considering the purchase of 8 chartered Airbus SE aircraft after the European Union provided a mechanism for lenders to dispose of some seized aircraft in Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, TASS reported. The planes operate under so-called finance leases, which the European Union created a penalty waiver this month by allowing payments from agreements signed before February 26. Financial leases refer in to new Airbus and Boeing aircraft, with export credit agencies guaranteeing approximately 85% of the amount lent to an airline by a banking association. Most of the approximately 500 foreign-owned aircraft blocked in Russia operate under operating leases in which airlines lease planes for a specified period and can return them to the owner after the contract has expired. Russia passed a law banning foreign-owned planes from leaving without state permission after the Ukrainian invasion imposed penalties on lessors for canceling contracts and trying to return their planes.