First EXIM Satellite-related Deal Since 2015, Counters Foreign Competition
WASHINGTON – The Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) unanimously approved $80.7 million in EXIM financing to support launch services by SpaceX and also U.S.-brokered launch and initial in-orbit insurance for Hispasat Canarias S.L.U., a subsidiary of Hispasat, S.A., of Spain. These EXIM-supported services will help Hispasat to deploy a new satellite, Amazonas Nexus. The EXIM financing, which may take the form of a direct loan or loan guarantee, is estimated to support approximately 500 American jobs in California, Florida, Texas, and Virginia.
The transaction is the first EXIM financing of a satellite-related export since 2015, before EXIM was forced to pause board-approved transactions for several years due to the lack of a board quorum. Today’s announcement marks an important step in EXIM’s re-emergence following the agency’s historic seven-year reauthorization by Congress in 2019. EXIM’s support is needed for this transaction to provide long-term financing for Hispasat that was unavailable from commercial lenders. EXIM’s support also counters potential export credit agency support for a French launch-services competitor, Arianespace.
“This transaction signals the return of EXIM in support of the U.S. satellite-related industry. The need for export credit agency support is well-established in this industry, and the availability of EXIM’s financing enables SpaceX and other U.S. exporters to remain competitive,” said EXIM Acting First Vice President and Vice Chairman James C. Cruse.
“It is exciting to be supporting SpaceX as they launch this new satellite for Hispasat. This is precisely where EXIM plays a critical role, supporting high-tech U.S. companies and their workers in an intensively competitive environment. This transaction is a fine example of how EXIM is available for U.S. exporters, especially when the decisions of international buyers hinge upon the availability of government-provided export credit,” said EXIM Board Member Judith D. Pryor.
“During the present contraction in financial markets, EXIM continues to carry out its mission by providing financing when private lenders lack the capacity to do so,” said EXIM Board Member and former Congressman Spencer Bachus. “In addition, one very positive outcome of the action we took today will be the preservation of approximately 500 U.S.-based jobs.”
The high-throughput satellite, being built by Thales Alenia Space of France, will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The satellite will replace Hispasat’s Amazonas-2 satellite, which will reach the end of its 15-year life in 2024. The satellite will offer an increased capacity for new business and enable Hispasat to expand its customer base and enter new markets by supplying high-capacity mobile services. The satellite construction contract was awarded in late 2019 and is being financed by Bpifrance.
Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), headquartered in Hawthorne, California, designs and manufactures rockets and provides satellite launch services. SpaceX provides a route to orbit for companies deploying satellites and also takes supplies to the International Space Station. The company has approximately 8,000 employees.
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is the nation’s official export credit agency with the mission of supporting American jobs by facilitating U.S. exports. To advance American competitiveness and assist U.S. businesses as they compete for global sales, EXIM offers financing including export credit insurance, working capital guarantees, loan guarantees, and direct loans. As an independent federal agency, EXIM contributes to U.S. economic growth by supporting tens of thousands of jobs in exporting businesses and their supply chains across the United States. Since 1992, EXIM has generated more than $9 billion for the U.S. Treasury for repayment of U.S. debt. Learn more at www.exim.gov.