Washington, 30 May 1997 (RFE/RL) - The World Bank has approved $200 million worth of partial risk guarantees covering Russian and Ukrainian enterprises involved in the Sea Launch joint venture.
The Sea Launch project is a ground-breaking venture between the U.S. Boeing Commercial space company, Russia's RSC Energia, Norway's Kvaerner Maritime, and Ukraine's Yuzhnoye to launch commercial satellites from a converted oil platform.
Russian and Ukrainian rockets and launch systems will be transported to the United States to be assembled with Boeing satellites and taken to a remote area of the Pacific for launching.
The guarantees covering only political risks are a complex arrangement involving the companies as well as the governments of Russia and Ukraine. They will allow $200 million in commercial loans to help Energia and Yuzhnoye redesign launch vehicles and set up for commercial work. New port facilities at Vyborg near St. Petersburg are also part of the project.
World Bank Vice President Johannes Linn says the project should foster economic benefits for Russia and Ukraine close to $2 billion over its lifetime and help maintain up to 30,000 high-paying jobs in both countries.