It has announced today that Ex-Im "has considered and approved a referral to [US] Congress of NewSat's application for a $US280m direct loan," saying this is "an indication the transaction complies with Ex-Im Bank's lending requirements." The company has also announced that "COFACE approval for a $US95m-$US100m million debt facility guarantee [is] expected in July."
However, in an update to investors NewSat has revealed that it will need an estimated $US600m to fund the project to launching the satellite in Q4 of 2014 and bringing into service in 2015. It is planning a new equity issue to raise a further $US200m.
The company has also announced more details of future planned satellites, Jabiru-2, Jabiru-3 and Jabiru-4. Jabiru-2, as previously announced, will not be a satellite but a NewSat-dedicated payload on the Measat-3b satellite. It will be located at 91.5 degrees east, will have six Ku-band transponders and will provide services to corporate and government customers in Australia, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea.
Jabiru-3 and 4 will be identical satellites launched into orbit at 89.5 degrees east and 54.0 degrees east, will have about 100 Ka-band transponders each and will serve the resource, military, government and 'carrier grade telecommunications' markets in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Indian Ocean. NewSat's plans call for a Jabiru 2 launch in FY14, Jabiru-3 in VY16 and Jabiru-4 in FY17.
NewSat has already announced pre-launch contracts for Jabiru-1 totally $US601m, and says these account for about 18 percent of the satellite's capacity. It claims to have a sales pipeline across Jabiru-1, 2, 3 and 4 totally $546m, of which $US382m is for Jabiru-1 capacity.
NewSat is bullish about demand growth for satellite capacity, particularly Ka-band capacity. It cites data from Euroconsult showing Ka-band capacity to date being minimal but growing at 42 percent CAGR from 2011 to reach some 18,000 36MHz transponder equivalents by 2020. In Jabiru-1's coverage areas, Euroconsult estimates Ka-band satellite terminal growth at 60 percent CAGR, according t NewSat.
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