WASHINGTON, June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has authorized a $343.3 million direct loan to Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co. Ltd. (AsiaSat) to finance the purchase of two communications satellites designed and built by Space Systems/Loral LLC (SSL) in Palo Alto, Calif.
AsiaSat 6, a C-band satellite, and AsiaSat 8, a mixed Ku/Ka-band satellite, are being manufactured by SSL under a contract that was announced in November 2011. The launches are planned for the first half of 2014.
Ex-Im Bank's financing also will support launch services supplied by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) in Hawthorne, Calif., and launch insurance from Marsh USA Inc. in New York, N.Y.
Ex-Im's satellite financing is its fastest-growing portfolio. In Fiscal Year 2013 to date, the Bank has authorized $891 million in support of U.S. satellites and related services. Ex-Im Bank has financed approximately 60 percent of U.S. commercial satellite sales in the last three years.
"The satellite industry is the quintessential 21st-century business. Worldwide demand for satellite-based telecommunications is expanding, and with Ex-Im's support, more and more of these satellites are made in America. Ex-Im Bank's financing of these SSL communications satellites and SpaceX launch services is further expanding the global reach of U.S. satellite companies and helping to sustain thousands of jobs in California and New York," said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President Fred P. Hochberg.
The export sale is supporting approximately 2,400 U.S. jobs, according to an Ex-Im Bank estimate derived from U.S. Departments of Commerce and Labor data and methodology.
"More than half of the communications satellites built at SSL in Palo Alto are manufactured for export," said SSL President John Celli. "We appreciate Ex-Im Bank's support of U.S.-manufacturers and the space industry. The satellites that we are providing to AsiaSat help create jobs and keep hundreds of highly skilled engineers, technicians and managers employed."
AsiaSat is a satellite operator headquartered in Hong Kong that was established in 1988 and currently has a fleet of four satellites that provide transponder capacity for services in more than 50 countries across the Asia-Pacific region, covering over two-thirds of the world's population. AsiaSat provides telecommunications operators and end-users with services that include voice networks, private very small-aperture terminal (VSAT) networks and broadband multimedia services. The company also serves more than 150 public and private television and radio broadcasters worldwide that offer in excess of 450 television and radio channels.
SSL is a satellite and space-systems manufacturer that currently has more satellite capacity on orbit than any other manufacturer. Beginning with the world's first active-repeater communications satellite launched in 1960, SSL has manufactured more than 250 satellites. The company has 2,800 employees at its manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, Calif.
SpaceX designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. The company was founded in 2002 to advance space transportation and today provides services with its family of Falcon launch vehicles and Dragon spacecraft, which have delivered cargo to and from the International Space Station. The company has more than 3,000 employees in California, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Florida.
ABOUT EX-IM BANK:
Ex-Im Bank is an independent federal agency that creates and maintains U.S. jobs by filling gaps in private export financing at no cost to American taxpayers. In the past five years (from FY 2008), Ex-Im Bank has earned for U.S. taxpayers nearly $1.6 billion above the cost of operations. The Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms, including working capital guarantees, export-credit insurance and financing to help foreign buyers purchase U.S. goods and services.
In FY 2012, Ex-Im Bank authorized a record-breaking $1.4 billion to finance exports of U.S.-manufactured communications satellites, an increase of nearly 8 percent over the previous record of $1.3 billion authorized for these types of exports in FY 2011.
Ex-Im Bank approved $35.8 billion in total authorizations in FY 2012 – an all-time Ex-Im record. This total includes more than $6.1 billion directly supporting small-business export sales – also an Ex-Im record. Ex-Im Bank's total authorizations are supporting an estimated $50 billion in U.S. export sales and approximately 255,000 American jobs in communities across the country. For more information, visit www.exim.gov.