Satellite Finance: RSCC launches tender for financing Express-80 and Express-103 satellites

Russian state-owned FSS operator RSCC is looking to hire a bank to arrange the financing for ordering two new communications satellites. Express-80 and Express-103 will be built by ISS Reshetnev with payloads from Thales Alenia Space, and placed at 80E and 103E, respectively, in 2019 to provide telecoms and broadcasting services in С, Ku, and L- bands across Russia, CIS and Asia.

RSCC is looking to secure Rbs5.7bn (US$87m) to finance its order from ISS Reshetnev and €73m (US$78m) to fund the payloads from Thales Alenia Space.

A spokesperson for the operator said it is looking for maturities of no more than nine years, and would sign facility agreements with the bank – or banks – that could offer the lowest interest rate.

Russian operators typically mandate local banks with RSCC previously securing a credit facility with Vnesheconombank, and its rival Gazprom Space Systems arranging a sizeable financing package with Sberbank earlier in the year.  

Thales Alenia Space has provided payloads for 13 previous Express birds. The Franco-Italian manufacturer announced it had secured the payload contracts in June, saying that Express-80 would be fitted with 16 C-band and 20 Ku-band transponders to cover Russia, and two L-band transponders offering global coverage. 

Express-103 will have 16 C-band and 20 Ku-band transponders to cover Russia and Southeast Asia, and an L-band transponder for global coverage.

RSCC’s Express satellites are typically launched by Roscosmos under the Russian federal launch programme on Proton-Ms, although the operator has previously said it is open to using alternative providers after losing a satellite to the rocket in the past. The launch is scheduled for Q4 2019.

Satellite Finance