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UKEF doubles support for sustainable projects to £2.4 billion in 2020

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Energy Global,

UK Export Finance (UKEF) provided over £2.4 billion of financial support to sustainable projects in 2020 helping UK businesses to build new hospitals, bring clean energy and develop critical infrastructure in developing countries, according to new data.

At the outbreak of the pandemic it was unclear how many projects, critical to the wellbeing to billions of people across the world, would continue to be financed. UKEF helped to fill this gap and ensure credit continued to flow to this vital infrastructure, while also creating opportunities for UK exporters.

An independent assessment of national export credit agencies released by Trade & Export Finance Limited (TXF) showed the UK provided the second most export credit support for sustainable projects in 2020. Sustainable and green projects are defined by TXF in 16 categories, including renewable energy, biodiversity conservation, affordable housing and food security. The projects UKEF backed in 2020 include:

  • UKEF has now provided £500 million of financing for four offshore wind farms in Taiwan alone since 2019, creating trading opportunities for UK renewable energy companies and supporting green jobs.
  • Of this, the latest was a £200 million buyer guarantee to help finance the Greater Changhua 1 Offshore Wind Farm in Taiwan. The Greater Changhua 1 Offshore Wind Farm has a capacity of 605 MW, powering more than 650 000 households, and this will help Taiwan to achieve its goal of generating 20% of its power from renewable sources by 2025.
  • Two UK renewable energy companies, Seajacks and Trelleborg’s applied technologies operation in the UK, have already capitalised on UKEF’s support by winning contracts with Ørsted, the company leading the development of the wind farm. Seajacks, an East Anglia-based company, will ship the material needed to install the turbines and Trelleborg’s applied technologies operation in the West Midlands will provide protection systems for the cables which connect the turbines to the mainland.
  • Separately, there are companies like PCG Group in Glasgow, which UKEF helped win a £3 million contract to supply cranes used to service wind turbines for an offshore wind farm off the Fife coast – their first ever renewable contract.

Minister for Exports, Graham Stuart MP, said: “This major financing of critical work helps to bring prosperity to millions of people around the world. We increased UKEF’s capacity to support overseas projects in over 100 markets last year, and its financing has placed UK businesses at the heart of many important global projects as a result.

“Free and open trade, backed by global rules, offers the lowest income countries a better deal. As we build back better from the pandemic, we are determined to help developing countries benefit from UK capability and will use our export credit agency, UKEF, to ensure no viable export fails for lack of finance.”

UKEF’s support for sustainable projects also aligns with new measures the department has put in place to enhance its support for clean energy, with £2 billion of direct lending dedicated to financing clean growth projects.

To connect UKEF with overseas projects that have long-term and sustainable growth potential, UKEF has expanded its internationally based country representatives in Africa, South America, the Middle East and Asia, and is set to significantly increase this network in 2021.

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