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European Investment Bank Loans SES $322M to Finance 3 Satellites 

By Rachel Jewett | January 11, 2023

      An artist’s view of Astra 1P and Astra 1Q, built by Thales Alenia Space for SES. Photo: SES

      The European Investment Bank (EIB) is loaning SES 300 million euros ($322 million) to finance three satellites that will deliver broadcast and broadband services across Western Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. SES announced the seven-year loan on Wednesday. It is the largest amount ever provided by the EIB to a Luxembourg-based company.

      The EIB said the size of the loan demonstrates how important the space sector is to the bank and the European Union. 

      “Space technology, data and services have become indispensable in the lives of Europeans. I am therefore very enthusiastic about this agreement with SES, which directly supports the EU space policy. … Space is a key driver of innovation in Europe and we are eager to support space entrepreneurship,” commented EIB Vice President Kris Peeters.

      The financing will support three satellites SES has ordered from Thales Alenia Space: ASTRA 1P and ASTRA 1Q, ordered in late 2021; and SES-26 ordered in March 2022. Both ASTRA 1Q and SES-26 are next-generation digital satellites. All three satellites are set to launch in 2024. 

      “This diversifies SES’s sources of financing on attractive financial terms,” said SES CFO Sandeep Jalan. “The agreement enables us to deliver on our commitment to broadcast high-quality content from our prime TV neighborhood serving 118 million TV households across France, Germany and Western Europe.”