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Thrush lands deal to ship 20 aircraft to China

Thibauld Quirion, the USA director for Enterprise Rhone-Alpes International, a global economic development facilitator, talks with Thrush Aircraft's sales and marketing director Eric Rojek during a tour of the Albany plant Thursday, March 21, 2013.

Thibauld Quirion, the USA director for Enterprise Rhone-Alpes International, a global economic development facilitator, talks with Thrush Aircraft's sales and marketing director Eric Rojek during a tour of the Albany plant Thursday, March 21, 2013.

ALBANY, Ga. — Albany-based Thrush Aircraft has agreed to a deal with the Chinese government to ship 20 agricultural aircraft to the world's most populous nation.

State-owned Beidahuang Group of Harbin, China, will employ the equipment, which includes 20 crop dusters from Thrush, four sprayers, 10 tractors, 70 combines, four Robinson helicopters and six Air Tractor crop dusters, on farms in Northern China.

"This is a terrific example of the power of an extremely bright and highly capable banking team bringing their expertise to bear on a commercial opportunity that helps — not only Thrush Aircraft and our jobs — but our new customers in China as well," said Payne Hughes, president of Thrush Aircraft. "I'm not exaggerating when I say this deal simply would not have been possible without Ex-Im banking behind it."

Ex-Im, or Export-Import Bank of the United States, is an independent arm of the U.S. Federal Government that helps facilitate global opportunities for American companies in an effort to create jobs.

In total, the deal includes more than $55 million in investment by the Chinese in U.S. companies like Thrush and will create up to 400 new jobs, although it's not immediately clear how the order will impact Thrush financially.y.