A Falcon Heavy rocket launches the Viasat-3 “Americas” satellite on May 1, 2023.
PARIS – The U.S. export credit agency is working through a $5 billion pipeline of applications related to the space industry, as companies look to fund projects in orbit in a tighter capital market.
The Export-Import Bank of the United States, or EXIM, is no stranger to financing space projects such as satellite and rocket products. EXIM generally sees more applications during tougher economic times, as the previous bulk of its financing for the space sector came between 2010 and 2015.
“In our pipeline related to this industry, about $1.3 billion are likely to come to fruition within a year and another $4 billion that we’re looking at are a little less further along,” Judith Pryor, EXIM’s first vice president and vice chair of the board of directors, said on Monday at the 2023 World Satellite Business Week conference.
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EXIM has helped U.S. space companies win contracts for foreign entities, especially to give an extra edge when they are competing with China.
Pryor said EXIM is increasingly seeing applications from companies building low Earth orbit satellite networks, also known as LEO constellations, for services such as communications and imagery. The bank acts as an alternative lender to support U.S. companies and examines “each individual transaction on its own merits” rather than focus on specific areas of the space industry, Pryor said.
“We don’t discriminate. We don’t pick winners or losers,” Pryor said.