Ex-Im Bank Puts $1.2 Billion Behind Two Satellite Projects

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IBIZA, Spain — The U.S. Export-Import Bank has approved direct loans and loan guarantees for satellite telecommunications projects in Australia and Mexico, bringing to nearly $1.3 billion the bank’s satellite-sector financing so far in fiscal 2012 and equaling the total for all of 2011, the bank said.

In a July 31 announcement, the Ex-Im Bank said it had approved a direct loan of $281 million to a subsidiary of NewSat of Australia, a startup satellite operator whose Jabiru-1 satellite is under construction by Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Sunnyvale, Calif.

Jabiru-1 will carry a mixed Ka- and Ku-band payload and is scheduled for launch in 2014. The project will support 250 jobs at Lockheed Martin plants in California and Pennsylvania, the bank said.

Ex-Im also agreed to guarantee a loan by Morgan Chase & Co. to the Mexican government’s Secretariat of Communications and Transportation for the MexSat project to provide fixed and mobile links in Mexico.

The guarantee, totaling $922 million, will finance Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems’ production of two large L-band mobile communications satellites based on Boeing’s 702 HP platform. Boeing also will provide a satellite operations center and related ground infrastructure.

The Ex-Im Bank said 400 Boeing employees will work directly on MexSat.

The same guarantee covers the construction of a third, smaller satellite that Boeing subcontracted to Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va. This satellite will carry a C- and Ku-band payload. Its construction will provide work for 80 Orbital employees.

Ex-Im said hundreds of additional jobs will be created among equipment suppliers to both Boeing and Orbital.