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A US small business will use financing from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic) to lease railway cars to users of the Brazilian railroad system, helping that country meet growing transportation needs in its agribusiness, mining, and other foreign exchange-earning industries.

  • Opic will provide a US$2mn loan to Global Railroad Leasing (GRL) of

  • San Antonio, Texas, for the purchase of used railway cars from US suppliers. GRL will lease the cars to its Brazilian affiliate, Curitiba-based FerroLease, a joint venture between GRL and Londrina-based Grupo ATT, Brazil’s largest independent railroad terminal operator. FerroLease will in turn retrofit the cars for use on Brazilian rail lines and rent them to agribusinesses and other export sectors using the privatised railroad concessions.

    The Brazilian transportation market suffers from a lack of capital resulting in an inadequate supply of railroad cars to serve the growing demand for freight service. Freight is primarily moved to major ports by truck and limited railroad service, a system that will be further strained by projected increases in soil usage and bumper crop harvests in the coming years.

    The project was approved by Opic’s new Small Business Center. The centre was established in October 2002 to provide qualified small businesses the opportunity to use Opic’s resources with improved customer service, flexible coverage and easier access through a streamlined approval process.