Export-Import Bank of the United States Announces Sub-Saharan Africa Deal of the Year Award at 2022 Annual Conference

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WASHINGTON, DC – The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) today presented ESS Tech, Inc. (ESS), Sapele Power Plc (Sapele), and Atrafin with the 2022 Sub-Saharan Africa Deal of the Year Award at its 2022 Annual Conference.

Over the past 20 years, EXIM has supported nearly $20 billion for projects with African nations, steadfastly working to fulfill its Congressional mandate to support U.S. exporters doing business with African nations.

“I congratulate the companies on their award. EXIM is committed to expanding and improving our engagement in Africa,” said EXIM President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis. “We are proud to support the Sapele Power project as it represents the Bank’s dedication to driving investment for Africa and creating new opportunities across the continent.”

The Sapele Power Project in Delta State, Nigeria is EXIM’s first-ever energy storage transaction and one of the first energy storage projects in Nigeria and the entire sub-Saharan Africa region.

Exporter ESS, which is based in Wilsonville, OR designs, builds and deploys environmentally sustainable, low-cost iron flow batteries. Following completion of contract negotiations between ESS and Sapele, it is expected that ESS will manufacture and deliver the battery storage system for the project in 2024. A third-party firm will manage system installation and commissioning.

“ESS is proud to manufacture advanced long-duration energy storage technology here in the United States leveraging a predominantly domestic supply chain,” said Eric Dresselhuys, CEO. “Climate change is a global problem and EXIM enables American companies to deliver solutions worldwide and lead the clean energy transition.”

Colchester, CT-based Atrafin served as the lender for the project and is a dedicated supporter of U.S. companies exporting to Africa and around the world.


EXIM Bank an independent federal agency that provides competitive and necessary export credit to overseas purchasers of U.S. exports to promote and support American jobs. A robust and fully functioning EXIM Bank can assist the United States in leveling the global playing field for U.S. exporters when they compete against foreign companies that receive the support of their national export credit agencies. EXIM also contributes to U.S. economic growth and the support of more than a million jobs through the support of thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) around the country. Since 2000, EXIM Bank has provided $14.6 billion to the U.S. Treasury after paying for all of its administrative and program expenses.

For more information about EXIM, please visit www.exim.gov.