Spacecom Wins $105M Ex-Im Bank Loan for Amos 6 Satellite

by

PARIS — A U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank loan of $105.4 million to satellite fleet operator Spacecom of Israel will finance the launch, insurance and part of the construction of the Amos 6 telecommunications satellite to be placed into orbit in 2015, the bank announced Aug. 23.

The loan, which was expected, will mainly be used to pay for the satellite’s launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket operated by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), with which Spacecom has a long-standing reservation.

In addition to the launch, the U.S. contribution to Amos 6 includes ATK Space Components of Goleta, Calif., and its subcontractor, solar cell manufacturer Emcore Corp. of Albuquerque, N.M., which together will build the Amos 6 solar arrays. The arrays are designed to provide 10.3 kilowatts of power at the end of Amos 6’s 15-year service life.

The Ex-Im Bank’s loan will also be used to finance insurance broker Marsh USA’s management of the launch insurance package.

“Satellite financing represents Ex-Im Bank’s most prominent stand-out sector in the Bank’s newly transformed portfolio,” the bank said in an Aug. 23 statement. “Just three years ago, satellites accounted for only $50 million in authorizations per year. This year [is] the third consecutive year in which Ex-Im Bank’s satellite sector authorizations will have topped $1 billion.”

Amos 6 is under construction by prime contractor Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), with the satellite’s electronics payload being provided by MDA Corp. of Canada under contract to IAI.

Amos 6 is designed to operate at Spacecom’s 4 degrees west orbital slot, where it will be co-located with the Amos 2 and Amos 3 satellites. Amos 6 features a Ka-band beam for broadband connections in Africa and Europe, and a Ku-band beam for pan-European and Middle East coverage.