Sectors - Business

UKEF Doubles Support for Sustainable Projects

UK companies are set to help bring new hospitals, clean energy and transportation to developing countries thanks to record levels of UK Export Finance (UKEF) backing.

UKEF provided more than £2.4 billion in financial support to sustainable projects in 2020, which helped businesses build new hospitals, bring clean energy and develop critical infrastructure to developing countries, according to new data.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was unclear just how many projects which are critical to the wellbeing of billions throughout the world would continue to be financed. However, UKEF helped fill the gap and ensured credit continued to flow to this vital infrastructure whilst 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.

UKEF-backed projects in 2020 include:

  • Over £430 million for major new healthcare projects in Africa including two hospitals in Ghanaand 108 rural healthcare clinics and a hospital in Zambia
  • Over £1.9 billion for major transportation projects including backing for Egypt’s new electric monorail lineand emergency road repairs in Gabon, Ghana and Benin, crucial to infrastructure in the region
  • Over £120 million for major energy transformation including financing for two offshore wind farms in Taiwanand two of Spain’s largest solar power plants
  • £27 million for a solar powered water sterilisation programme in Ghanathat will deliver 5 litres of water a day for less than a quarter of a penny

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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