Subsequently SEC’s bank suggested that it approached UK Export Finance for help. UK Export Finance (UKEF) offered the company an Export Insurance Policy (EXIP) for 95% of the contract’s value against the risk of neither the letter of credit issuing bank nor the buyer paying, so that the UK bank would no longer have to confirm the letter of credit. With payment insured, SEC produced the components for the six-metre high storage system and delivered them to Ethiopia. The company was also exploring opportunities in Nigeria and North Africa, as well as in South America.
“The reassurance that the EXIP gave us meant that we were able to go ahead with the project without any worries,” says Martin. “It gave us the confidence to deal with smaller overseas companies not just blue chip ones.”