Sweden. Swedish Space Corporation

Date of agreement:06 Oct 2021
Country:Sweden
Customer:Swedish Space Corporation
Amount in EUR:EUR 12 million
Maturity:12 years
NACE sector / loan type:Air transport

Facilities

Arctic Financing Facility (read more): 100%

Project

The loan has been granted to finance a new spaceport in the Esrange Space Center in Kiruna, northern Sweden.

The investment will enable the use of reusable rockets and the basic ability to launch small satellites into orbit as early as 2022. The new operation will be integrated into existing activities for probe rockets, stratospheric balloons, advanced test operations, and satellite communications.

The project entails construction work for the new launch site, integration halls for rockets, clean rooms for satellite integration, the expansion of planned fuel plants, launch pads and surrounding technical ground systems, as well as the further development of technical support systems in Esrange’s operational communication centre.

The space industry estimates that the use of satellites will grow from approximately 4,000 today to more than 10,000 over the next five to ten years. Currently, there is no site for satellite launching from continental Europe.

The Esrange Space Center is the company’s key asset. The project is part of a broader upgrade of Esrange that has been going-on during most of the past decade. With the Bank’s first loan with SSC signed in 2014, NIB has also financed previous phases of the modernisation.

SSC is a state-owned space company with offices in 11 countries and customers on all continents. The company specializes in satellite communications, rocket and balloon systems and launch services, flight test services as well as consulting services for the international space community. SSC has more than fifty years of experience in assisting space agencies, companies and research institutions to gain access to space.

Fulfilment of NIB's mandate

Productivity:

The spaceport adds small satellite launching capabilities to the Esrange Space Center in Kiruna.

Although it mainly serves non-member country companies, Esrange is a core component of the Swedish space industry and forms one of the few high-technology operations in the northern parts of Sweden.

SSC has extensive collaboration with Swedish universities, primarily operating in the field of Space Science. The collaboration between academia and SSC will support knowledge accumulation and thereby increase Sweden’s share of the value chain beyond launching services to broader service offerings in the satellite sector.

Impact indicators in relation to the project:

  • Number of launches per year: 3-7
  • Jobs created at Esrange (fte): 25

Sustainability summary

The construction of the new light and heavy launch pads includes infrastructure developments, such as access roads, buildings, and the actual launch site area.

Esrange is located in a pristine environment in the North of Sweden. The identified significant environmental and social aspects involve the protection of a few rare plants, nesting birds, local small streams and reindeer herding. These issues are included in the permitting processes.

The first round of the environmental permit procedure has been completed, and the permission for the construction has been granted by the County Council of Norrbotten. The permit applications for the operation of the facility will be processed by the Municipality of Kiruna and the permission is currently pending.

Press release
06.10.2021

NIB finances the first major orbital launch site in continental Europe

Press release

NIB finansierar den första uppskjutningsplatsen för satelliter på den europeiska kontinenten