UK Export Finance (UKEF), the export credit agency of the UK government, has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with General Electric, hinting at a new pipeline of green finance deals to come.
Speaking at the UK Trade & Export Finance Forum in London yesterday, Exports Minister Mike Freer said General Electric will be a major partner of UKEF in the delivery of green energy projects.
“From carbon capture to green hydrogen, and offshore wind to green bonds, the UK is immensely strong, and we must export our expertise to the world,” he said.
“This is why agreements like the one signed today between UKEF and GE are so important. It will harness UK expertise to help build a better world.”
In a press statement, Freer said the MoU will commit UKEF to supporting more renewable energy projects with General Electric, building on contracts worth over $3.6 billion (£2.7 billion) already delivered since 2015.
Last month, for example, UKEF issued its largest ever guarantee, worth £217 million, for a deal that will see General Electric and British contractors delivering Turkey’s largest solar energy plant.
According to UKEF, clean industries already support 410,000 jobs across the UK.
The agency has projected that this number will grow rapidly, with the UK’s clean growth sector expected to be worth up to £170 billion by 2030.
As part of its renewed focus on “industries of the future”, and delivering on emissions promises made at COP26, UKEF said it aims to make it as easy as possible for UK exporters of clean growth products and services to access funding.
The MoU with General Electric is one of the first major partnerships to be announced following the launch of ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’, a campaign led by the Department for International Trade (DIT) aimed at boosting British exports.
Freer said that UKEF – with its 20% budget hike this year, and its £50 billion capacity war chest – will play a leading role in delivering the UK’s new export strategy, and offering greater financial support for exporters.
“We have set an ambitious goal to achieve a trillion pounds’ worth of exports a year by 2030,” he said.
“But behind this headline figure are countless businesses, communities, and people.
“And vital for delivering for all three, will be an expanded and re-energised UKEF – turbocharging exports and ensuring what is made in the UK is sold to the world.”