The U.S. Export-Import Bank has authorized a $105.4 million loan to Space Communication Ltd. of Ramat Gan, Israel, to finance the Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) launch of the Amos-6 communications satellite, the purchase of American made-solar arrays, and insurance brokered by Marsh USA.
The transaction is Ex-Im Bank’s third related to a SpaceX launch, and will support about 600 U.S. jobs in California and elsewhere, according to bank estimates derived from Commerce and Labor department data.
In June, Ex-Im Bank approved financing for the launches of two satellites manufactured by Space Systems/Loral LLC, and in November 2012 the bank approved financing for the launches of two Boeing-manufactured satellites.
Satellite financing represents Ex-Im Bank’s most prominent sector. Three years ago, satellites accounted for only $50 million in authorizations per year. This year marks the third consecutive year in which Ex-Im Bank's satellite sector authorizations will have topped $1 billion.
Amos-6, a geosynchronous satellite, will replace Space Communication’s Amos-2 and cover markets in Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East. The satellite will also provide pan-European coverage and broadband services in Europe and Africa.
The launch is scheduled for 2015.
Founded in 2002 and based in Hawthorne, Calif., SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches rockets and spacecraft. It is the first private company to build, launch, and dock spacecraft at the International Space Station, a mission previously accomplished only by government space entities.
ATK Space Systems, a participant in the transaction and a manufacturer of the solar arrays for the satellite, is a member of the ATK Aerospace Group, while Marsh is a global leader in insurance brokering and risk management.