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Intelsat Reports Antenna Reflector Deployment Delay with New Dawn
by Staff Writers
Luxembourg (SPX) May 04, 2011


The Intelsat New Dawn satellite is owned by a joint venture between a consortium led by Convergence Partners of South Africa and Intelsat.

Intelsat S.A. has reported a delay in deploying the west antenna reflector on the Intelsat New Dawn satellite, launched on 22 April 2011. The satellite's solar arrays have been successfully deployed and the satellite has power and otherwise nominal performance.

Orbital Sciences Corporation ("OSC"), the satellite's manufacturer, is responsible for the orbit raising activities of Intelsat New Dawn. OSC indicated to Intelsat that it has executed the procedure to release the west antenna reflector and that telemetry confirms successful release of the reflector. However, other satellite data indicates that the west reflector is not deployed.

Intelsat and OSC are investigating this issue and assessing possible corrective actions. A satellite's antenna reflectors are an essential element of the communications payload; the west reflector controls communication in the C-band frequency.

Deployment of the east Ku-band antenna reflector has been delayed pending resolution of the current situation.

The Intelsat New Dawn satellite is owned by a joint venture between a consortium led by Convergence Partners of South Africa and Intelsat. Intelsat New Dawn is to replace Intelsat's Galaxy 11 satellite at 32.8 degrees East. Galaxy 11 has an estimated useful life through April 2015. Intelsat New Dawn is insured for its launch and in-orbit operations.

Intelsat New Dawn
Initially announced in December 2008, the US$250 million Intelsat New Dawn project is funded approximately 15% with equity and 85% with debt. African institutions are providing approximately 90% of the total financing required for the joint venture and Intelsat will contribute the balance.

Nedbank Capital, part of the Nedbank Group (one of South Africa's largest banking groups) and a leading telecom project financier in South Africa, has arranged the non-recourse debt financing.

A consortium of lenders including Nedbank, the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa and the African Development Bank will provide the debt funding. The equity is provided by Intelsat (74.9%) and the Convergence Partners-led group (25.1%), which also includes Altirah Telecoms and the not-for-profit Convergence Partners Foundation.

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