TAMPA, Fla. — The European Funding Financial institution (EIB) stated Jan. 11 it’s lending SES 300 million euros ($323 million) as a part of efforts to extend the competitiveness of Europe’s house business.
The dimensions of the seven-year mortgage, which the satellite tv for pc operator stated was secured “on enticing monetary phrases,” is the biggest the European Union’s lending arm has supplied a Luxembourg-based firm in its 65-year historical past.
The size of the financing “demonstrates how strategically essential the house sector is for the EIB and the European Union,” EIB vice chairman Kris Peeters stated.
The funding financial institution “shares the identical objectives because the European Fee to make European corporations like SES profitable and much more aggressive,” Peeters added, as a result of house “will solely turn into extra essential sooner or later.”
The debt will assist SES investments in three beforehand introduced broadcast and broadband satellites: ASTRA 1P, ASTRA 1Q, and SES-26.
The financing covers “barely beneath 50% of the general prices of your complete program” for these three satellites, SES vice chairman of exterior communications Suzanne Ong instructed SpaceNews.
EIB funding guidelines prohibit the financial institution from financing greater than 50% of the price of a program.
Europe’s Thales Alenia House is constructing all three satellites for launches to geostationary orbit subsequent 12 months.
ASTRA 1P and ASTRA 1Q, ordered in 2021, are Ku-band satellites designed to exchange ageing broadcast spacecraft at 19.2 levels East, the place SES serves main broadcasters throughout Germany, France, and Spain.
ASTRA 1Q has a software-defined communications payload which suggests it could possibly be reprogrammed whereas in orbit to serve information markets if wanted.
SES-26, additionally a software-defined satellite tv for pc, was ordered last year to supply content material and connectivity companies with Ku and C-band frequencies from 57 levels East, protecting Europe, Africa, and Asia.
EIB stated its financing is in keeping with the European Fee’s purpose for all households in Europe to have entry to at the very least 100 megabits per second of web connectivity by 2025.
SES hopes to play a task in Europe’s $6 billion plans to deploy a multi-orbit connectivity constellation referred to as IRIS² by 2027, which might assist increase web entry whereas bolstering communications safety for presidency wants.
In September, the European Space Agency (ESA) picked SES to steer the event of Eagle-1, a satellite tv for pc aiming to show quantum encryption expertise that might assist IRIS², or Infrastructure for Resilience, Interconnectivity and Safety by Satellite tv for pc.
Europe’s efforts to beef up its house sector come amid calls from European house officers for extra sovereign capabilities to keep up with China, the U.S., and different non-EU nations.
ESA member states agreed in November to supply the company with 16.9 billion euros for the subsequent three years — a 16.6% improve over the three-year finances set in 2019 earlier than accounting for inflation, though less than what the agency sought.
Peeters stated EIB has “had discussions with ESA [and the] European Fee to see what we will do additionally sooner or later, greater than ever earlier than, to stimulate the European house sector.”
Different house tasks EIB has supported in recent times embrace a 200 million-euro mortgage for French operator Eutelsat’s Konnect VHTS broadband satellite tv for pc, and 100 million euros in financing for Europe’s next-generation Ariane 6 launch automobile program.
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