Canada’s export credit agency to finance MDA’s $254 million satellite contract with Ukraine

Every week Techvibes will be republishing an article from Business in Vancouver newspaper.

This article was originally published in issue #1041 – Oct. 6 – Oct. 12, 2009.

Canada’s export credit agency, Export Development Canada (EDC), confirmed that it’s in negotiations to finance the deal between MDA and the National Space Agency of Ukraine (NSAU), which will result in the launch of Ukraine’s first satellite communications system in 2011.

It’s scheduled to be launched in time for the Euro soccer tournament, which Ukraine is co-hosting in 2012.

NSAU said in a release that the EDC is loaning the agency $254 million over a 10-year period and that the credit was given against a state guarantee.

A Kyiv-based newspaper reported that the loan’s annual interest rate is 5.1%. It also reported that the lion’s share of the work under the project is to be done in Ukraine.

MDA is the chief contractor in the deal, which reportedly includes four Ukrainian companies.

MDA will oversee, among other things, the satellite’s construction, ground and orbital testing, construction of ground-control infrastructure and training of the crews that are to operate the satellite. NSAU said the satellite will provide broadcasting and fixed satellite services, including television broadcasts and access to information networks.

Stockwell Day, Canada’s minister of international trade, oversaw the signing of the contract during a visit to Ukraine this month.

MDA has not publicly announced the contract and declined to comment.

In an unrelated announcement, MDA said that the engineers association of its Brampton, Ontario operations has withdrawn its services.

The engineers’ collective agreement expired last December