PARIS — The U.S. Export-Import Bank awarded Spanish satellite fleet operator Hispasat the bank’s 2012 “Deal of the Year” award April 12, citing bank guarantees totaling $388.5 million for two Hispasat satellites built by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif.

“These satellite deals are already supporting more than 260 full-time American jobs,” Ex-Im Bank Chairman Fred P. Hochberg said in a statement.

Ex-Im Bank said its involvement with Hispasat “paves the way for future Ex-Im Bank support for Hispasat’s U.S. purchases and, quite possibly, for Ex-Im support for launches from newly emerging launch providers.”

The Ex-Im Bank in 2010 authorized a $160.5 million loan guarantee to finance construction of the Hispasat 1E telecommunications satellite, which was launched in December 2010 aboard a European Ariane 5 rocket. France’s Coface export-credit agency provided loan guarantees associated with the purchase of the launch service from Europe’s Arianespace consortium.

In 2011, Ex-Im guaranteed a $228 million loan for the construction of Hispasat’s Amazonas 3 Ku- and Ka-band satellite, to bolster Hispasat’s presence in Latin America. Amazonas 3 is scheduled for launch, also aboard an Ariane 5 vehicle, in late 2012.

Peter B. de Selding was the Paris bureau chief for SpaceNews.