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A US$38.7mn US Ex-Im Bank loan guarantee will enable Romania to buy equipment, technology and services from Lockheed Martin Corp and other US suppliers to upgrade the country’s meteorological infrastructure to protect against floods.

Major suppliers on the transaction include Baron Services; Cisco Systems; Comsat Technology; Dell Computer Corp; Hach Co; Harris Corp; as well as the US government’s National Weather Service.

The hydrological computer models, sensors and other equipment will be used by the National Institute of Hydrology and Water Management (INMH) of Romania’s ministry of environment in a Destructive Waters (Deswat) monitoring system to accurately predict flash floods and other hydrological events in time to issue warnings. In recent years floods in Romania’s 11 river basins have caused fatalities and millions of dollars in economic damage. The transaction represents the second phase of a project to upgrade and modernise INMH’s meteorological infrastructure. Ex-Im also supported US exports for the earlier phase, called the National Integrated Meteorological System, in 2000.

The guaranteed lender on the transaction is Commerzbank AG, New York. The transaction is backed by the full faith and credit of the government of Romania.