The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has authorized a $105-million loan to the Brazilian state of Ceara to for the construction of a state-of-the-art aquarium in Fortaleza, Brazil.
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The Acquario will be the largest aquarium in the Southern Hemisphere and the third largest in the world with 25 tanks, 15 million liters of water, 500 marine species and 35,000 individual specimens. Set to become a major tourist attraction, the aquarium will also include interactive exhibits, two 4D cinemas, one 3D cinema, and an education and research function which will be dedicated to the preservation of aquatic life along Brazil’s coastal regions.
International Concept Management Inc. (ICM), a Colorado based consultancy who have previously worked on the AquaDom in Berlin, the Burj-Al-Arab Hotel in Dubai, and the Macau City of Dreams in Macau, will oversee the design and construction of the aquarium.
"We are proud to be a partner with the state of Ceara in Brazil for this very prestigious and highly visible project," said Roger R. Reynolds III, president and CEO of ICM. This project will employ several hundred people in Colorado, as well as more than 1,000 nationally through a network of over 15 U.S. subcontractors, suppliers and partners throughout the U.S. The involvement of Ex-Im Bank through this lengthy development process was instrumental in bringing the financing for this project together."
Ex-Im Bank, an independent federal agency that helps create and maintain U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers, estimates that at least 90% of the export contract value will be provided by U.S. small businesses thereby supporting around 700 jobs in the US.
"Ex-Im Bank's financing for this transaction will level the playing field for an American exporter in Brazil – one of the Bank's nine key markets – and enable the company to confront foreign competition on an equal footing," said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg. "As a result, the transaction will directly support hundreds of American small-business jobs in a specialized industry. The aquarium, which attests to the craftsmanship of American workers, will be a major tourist attraction in Brazil that will help support jobs here at home."