Intelsat had problems with an on-board thruster on its I-33e satellite, launched in August 2016. The satellite should have been on station and earning its keep in Q4 last year.
However, the thruster failure meant a longer journey time to orbit and the craft didn’t enter service until the end of January 2017.
Back in February Intelsat’s president and CEO Steve Spengler said the delay in entering service was minimal. Nevertheless, there would have been a financial impact on lost revenues for Intelsat, and perhaps more importantly the use of precious fuel to get the satellite to orbit meant that the craft’s anticipated service life was cut by around 18 months. It was said at the time that this element alone could see Intelsat justifiably claim around 10 percent loss of service, or around $40 million, from its insurers.
Intelsat I-33e operates from 60 degrees East, and serves Africa, Europe, the Mid-East and parts of Asia.
A report in Satellite Finance says that Intelsat’s claim is understood to have entered arbitration in order for both parties to resolve their different estimates on the value of the claim.