Parsippany-based Acrow Bridge, a leading international bridge engineering and supply company, announced today that it received the “Deal of the Year” Award at the Export-Import Bank of the United States’ (EXIM Bank) Annual Conference on April 8 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.
The award honors the collaboration between Acrow, the Government of Cameroon and EXIM Bank in the development and implementation of a financed comprehensive bridge development program. The initiative involves the delivery of 55 bridges to Cameroon, as well as the extensive training of local engineers and technicians in the assembly and installation of these critical infrastructure assets. The project structure also includes financing for the purchase of the bridges and the execution of the associated local works. The financing was arranged by Acrow via a lending facility extended by Societe Generale Bank, a Paris-based international financial institution, and loan guarantees issued by EXIM Bank.
Since its founding in 1951, Acrow has delivered its bridging solutions in over 80 countries, with more than 1,500 Acrow bridges having been installed in developing countries over the last decade. The project in Cameroon will help repair and modernize rural infrastructure networks in order to provide better access to schools, medical clinics and enhanced economic opportunity, particularly in remote rural areas.
EXIM Bank is an independent federal agency that supports and maintains U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. The bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms – including loan guarantees, working capital guarantees and export credit insurance, among other products – to promote the sale of U.S. goods and services abroad.
“Acrow has enjoyed an incredible working relationship with the Government of Cameroon and the EXIM Bank team,” said Paul Sullivan, Vice President of International Business Development at Acrow Bridge. “It would be difficult to imagine a more collaborative, dedicated, solution-oriented group of stakeholders, and we thank everyone involved in helping bring this important project to fruition.”
Bill Killeen, President and CEO of Acrow Bridge, said, “Acrow is deeply grateful to our partner EXIM Bank for this prestigious recognition of our medium-sized enterprise, this bridge development project, and the structured financing that has been arranged. Furthermore, we are grateful to the Government of Cameroon, also our partner, in this very important endeavor to improve bridge crossings throughout rural regions of their country with Acrow bridges. Additionally, we are appreciative of Societe Generale Bank and our construction partner Ellipse Projects, both of Paris.
“President Obama has called on the world to recognize the incredible dynamism and opportunity of today’s Africa through investment, and Acrow is proud to have been engaged on the African continent for more than two decades. We have constructed more than 1,000 bridges in various countries there, and these structures are improving the competitiveness of African products by eliminating supply-side transportation constraints. We are excited and enthusiastic to continue to partner with Sub-Saharan African nations and to support the goals of the billion people on this most remarkable continent.”
He added, “It is extremely gratifying that the bridges being installed in Cameroon and bridges that have been installed in other African nations are providing access in rural communities to schools, medical clinics, farms and jobs where no access existed or where limited access existed prior to the Acrow bridge. The improved access enhances the lives of people and creates an expansion of prosperity. An important part of this project is transferring a technical knowledge base to local workers on how to build and maintain bridges, in the process creating a robust skills-building program.”
“Acrow’s durable steel bridges are manufactured by professional and talented men and women in the United States using materials sourced in the USA. Quality assurance is ensured through auditing and certification by three independent organizations, so that Cameroon and all of our international partners receive bridges of the utmost and best workmanship.”