Milbank LLP advised PT Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (“PSN”) and PT Satelit Nusantara Tiga (“SNT”) as sponsor and borrower, respectively, on the procurement and project financing of SATRIA-1, a high-throughput satellite project. The project, which is a public-private partnership with the government of Indonesia, is valued at US$545 million.
The construction of SATRIA-1 is being financed under an export credit facility provided by HSBC, Banco Santander and Korea Development Bank, and guaranteed by French export credit agency Bpifrance. The launch, ground systems and additional project costs are financed under a commercial facility provided by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and Korea Development Bank.
Initiated by the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (“KOMINFO”), the goal of the SATRIA-1 project is to bring cost-effective internet access to Indonesia’s rural and remote areas. SATRIA-1 will be located at the 146° East orbital slot and provide 5G satellite broadband connectivity at 150 gigabytes/second to approximately 150,000 public services, including schools, health facilities and government buildings, with capacity distributed via 105 beams (with an additional 11 beams for maritime support), using a fully-digitized payload. Completion of the financing was announced by KOMINFO in a virtual ceremony at Indonesia’s presidential palace on February 26, 2021, with President Joko Widodo in attendance.
SATRIA-1 is being developed and constructed as a Ka-band satellite by French aerospace manufacturer Thales Alenia Space, and it will be launched by Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (“SpaceX”) on a Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. will provide spectrum monitoring and network management systems, Hughes Network Systems will provide hub equipment and support, and Northwest China Research Institute of Electronic Equipment will supply the gateway.
Founded in 1991, PSN is Indonesia’s first private satellite telecommunications company and a leading service provider across the Asia region. SNT, its subsidiary, was founded in 2018 to support the government of Indonesia in providing comprehensive satellite and ground communication services.
The Milbank team representing PSN and SNT was led by New York-based Transportation and Space partner Peter Nesgos and Washington, DC-based special counsel Alexis Sáinz; Washington, DC-based Transportation and Space partner Dara Panahy led procurement, commercial and regulatory efforts. Transportation and Space special counsel Bijan Ganji, and associates Mark Leverkus, Justin Silver and Sean Heiden; Tax associates Steven Quinn and James Seddon; and Alternative Investments associates Robert Wyse Jackson and Azeem Sulemanji worked on various aspects of the procurement and financing.
“We’re thrilled to advise on this important satellite project, which will play a crucial role in bridging Indonesia’s digital divide,” said Mr. Nesgos. “This public-private partnership will help to ensure that much-needed broadband internet will span Indonesia’s more-than 900 inhabited islands in a highly efficient, innovative manner.”