USTDA will continue its strong support for sectors in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Eurasia region that represent both high economic development priorities for host country sponsors and strong opportunities for U.S. firms. Key USTDA investments in the region include project development and investment support studies related to projects in transportation and trade logistics, internet data center development, geothermal energy, refinery modernization, gas fired power plant development, smart grid modernization, and disaster preparedness and recovery. In the last five years alone, USTDA invested $43.5 million in activities in the region. The following is an illustrative list of recent and ongoing projects in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Eurasia region:
USTDA has developed a robust clean energy portfolio in the MENA/EE Region, with key investments in solar and geothermal power generation, alongside smart grid development. One of USTDA's notable successes is the 47.4-megawatt Germencik Geothermal Plant in Turkey, which became operational in 2009 based on the results of a USTDA-funded feasibility study and generated $25 million in U.S. exports. More recent projects in Turkey include support for the Alasehir Geothermal Power Plant, feasibility study to introduce smart grid applications into power distribution and a geothermal reverse trade mission scheduled for October 2013.
In Egypt, USTDA is providing assistance to TAQA Arabia to determine the viability of developing and implementing a 100-250 MW CSP plant. In Jordan, USTDA is funding concurrent feasibility studies with each of the three Jordanian distribution companies to design smart grid systems that will improve operating efficiencies and help address Jordan's growing energy needs through loss reduction.
USTDA recognizes that the ICT sector continues to rapidly grow in MENA/EE Region and therefore provides strategic support for technology advancements to help the agency's priority countries achieve their development goals. USTDA has focused its investments on key ICT infrastructure projects that promote efficiency, support the transition to knowledge-based economies, improve emergency management capabilities and create a faster, more-dependable, and better-connected telecommunications infrastructure.
In Egypt, USTDA is providing grant funding to two private sector firms to support the development of two data centers, which will enhance Egyptian businesses' productivity and modernize the country's ICT infrastructure. Building upon successes in the Romanian ICT sector, USTDA recently completed a technical assistance for the Integrated Network for Education and Technologies (INET), which is aimed at upgrading existing networks and IT infrastructure of schools, universities and research centers. USTDA's ICT projects in Jordan include a partnership with Electronic Health Solutions to conduct a comprehensive review of the Hakeem e-health records program and support efforts to develop a safer and more efficient healthcare delivery system. USTDA also hosted an Electronic Health Technologies RTM that brought a delegation from Jordan to the United States to learn about U.S. expertise in this sector. Additionally, in the West Bank, USTDA technical assistance supported development of necessary infrastructure for the planned Rawabi New City to become an ICT-enabled, investor-friendly commercial hub.
In the MENA/EE Region, USTDA's transportation infrastructure investments are designed to catalyze economic growth and develop local host-country capacity to operate as a regional gateway and commercial trading hub. The success of the National Freight Information and Transportation Hub (NAFITH) pilot and feasibility study in Jordan demonstrates how strategic improvements in transportation and logistics networks can promote trade efficiency, security and global competitiveness. In Kazakhstan, USTDA has had great success in the railway sector with both feasibility studies and reverse trade missions generating more than $600 million worth of exports.
In the ports sector, USTDA has supported improvements in communication and security infrastructure through Vessel Traffic Management and Integrated Port Information projects in both Jordan and Morocco. USTDA also hosted an Egypt Port Automation RTM to introduce public and private sector representatives from Egypt to transportation technologies and services in the United States. In the aviation sector, USTDA partnered with EgyptAir Maintenance & Engineering to upgrade its ICT infrastructure to provide state of the art service to international carrier customers. USTDA feasibility study support is also assisting Morocco's national air carrier, Royal Air Maroc, in its efforts to optimize its operations at Casablanca's Mohammed V Airport and become a regional hub. In addition, USTDA is also sponsoring a two part technical assistance to help Azerbaijan gain Category One status under the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) International Safety Assessment Program.
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