Israeli satellite operator Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd. has acquired a satellite from Boeing for $161 million. The company, led by Shaul Elovitch, said on Wednesday it would launch the new satellite, Amos 17, in first quarter of 2019.
Spacecom‘s prior one, Amos 6, was going to be used by Facebook to expand Internet access in Africa. On September 1st an explosion destroyed both the satellite and a Falcon 9 rocket belonging to Elon Musk’s SpaceX during preparations for a routine test firing at Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Spacecom received an insurance payment of $191 million from Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) for the lost satellite.
The new satellite, Amos 17, will provide communications services to Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
Spacecom said in a statement. “It will be a catalyst for Spacecom’s growth plans over the next decade.”
Amos-17 is designed to operate for more than 15 years and it will cost $5 million per year to maintain. Boeing has committed to support launch operations and to implement the required operations after launch and until Amos 17 is in position and to undertake necessary checks during orbit. Boeing is responsible for insuring the satellite before launch, while afterwards Spacecom will pay $20 million for insurance.
Spacecom will finance the Boeing deal from Israel and overseas banks and institutions as well as the public.
According to Reuters Israel’s Eurocom Holdings owns 64 percent of Spacecom, whose shares were up 3.6 percent in afternoon trading in Tel Aviv but are down some 70 percent since Amos-6 was destroyed.