Ukraine not considering sale of Lybid satellite to intl operator to settle dispute with Canada's MDA – SSAU head
The State Space Agency of Ukraine (SSAU) has said that the option for the sale of the first Ukrainian telecommunications satellite Lybid to an international operator to settle the dispute with Canada's MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) at the London Court of International Arbitration is not being considered.
"Such ideas regarding the sale of the Lybid satellite to an international operator [for settling the dispute with MDA] were not considered at the SSAU," SSAU Head Pavlo Degtiarenko told Interfax-Ukraine on Tuesday, while commenting on media reports, referring to an unnamed source, on assessments in this regard.
The satellite was created under a contract signed by SSAU and Canada's MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) in December 2009. A loan worth $254.6 million was raised from Export Development Canada (EDC) against government guarantees to build the satellite on the Express 1000NT platform, developed by Russia's Information Satellite Systems – Reshetnev Company. Since summer 2014, the satellite has been in safe custody at the Russian developer, as was instructed by the Canadian general contractor.
The implementation of the project was under a threat of a failure due to the annexation of Crimea and the loss of land infrastructure involved in the project by Ukraine. Taking additional financial liabilities, Ukraine has overcome force majeure: in 2014-2015 a new spacecraft control center was built on Ukraine's mainland.
Ukraine's government in October 2017 supported SSAU's proposal for additional financing of the project in the amount of $17 million, taking into account increased costs.