New Dawn has to wait for new dayPublish date: 31 March 2011 by Staff Writer
After anticipating an African satellite floating in the sky today, Intelsat S.A brought the disappointing news that the launch of the Intelsat New Dawn spacecraft was scrubbed. It was due to launch yesterday aboard an Ariane 5 rocket, but after all-systems-go, the launch sequence was shut down automatically.
Although it is known that the spacecraft is secure, commercial launch service provider Arianespace, did not provide specific details on why the launch was halted, but said it will be reviewing the data and make another launch attempt at a later date.
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.