UK Export Finance (UKEF) provided more than £2.4bn of financial support to UK businesses investing in sustainable overseas projects last year according to new government data released today.

At the outbreak of the pandemic it was unclear how many projects would continue to be financed but 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.

UKEF acts as the country’s export credit agency. It exists to ensure no viable UK export lacks for finance or insurance from the private market, providing finance and insurance to help exporters win, fulfil and get paid for export contracts.

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.

The projects UKEF backed in 2020 include:

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

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 £2bn of direct lending dedicated to financing clean growth projects.

Graham Stuart MP