U.K. ECA Seeks Looser Rules To Level Playing Field

(Spacenews, Glasgow, 18 July 2013) Britain’s export-credit agency, U.K. Export Finance, is unable to match the low-interest loans for satellite projects that its U.S., French, Canadian and Japanese counterparts offer because of national regulations that forbid interference with the private sector, a U.K. Export Finance official said July 16. Addressing the U.K. Space Conference in Glasgow, Jon Boyce said the agency is working to loosen rules that up to now have left the agency a bystander as more-aggressive agencies in North America, Europe and Asia battle to defend their domestic industry in satellite export competitions. On July 5th, Australian satellite operator NewSat announced it had secured financing to the tune of $611 million for its Jabiru 1 satellite project. NewSat worked with the Export-Import Bank of the United States and the French export credit agency Coface to secure the funding and selected Lockheed Martin to build the satellite. The Jabiru 1 spacecraft is expected to launch in 2015.