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GUADALAJARA /Mexico/ September 27. /TASS/. S7 Group of companies has bought the Sea Launch floating spaceport which was earlier controlled by the Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, Vladislav Filev, S7 partner said on Tuesday.
"The goal is to announce today the deal between the two parties on acquiring the assets of the project, which was built by four countries. I am very proud of the fact that I will sign this contract today on behalf of S7 Group. We are buying the Odyssey platform," he said.
"It is remarkable day, today we are completing the deal we have been preparing for a long time. This is one of the few high-tech projects that entered the level of sale and the Russian investor is investing resources in a high-tech product," head of Energia Vladimir Solntsev said.
He added that a strategic agreement will be signed that will serve as the guarantee for successful implementation of the project.
The deal on the sale is expected be closed in six months, according to a joint release of the Russian state-run space corporation Roscosmos, S7 Group and RSC Energia.
"The deal is planned to be closed in six months, after an approval from the relevant United States authorities and signing of a number of agreements that are part of this deal. The deal is to be approved by Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)," the document says.
S7 Group does not have any contracts for launches of space vehicles yet, Filev said.
"It is planned to reactivate the platform and begin launching activities in 18 months after the approval of the deal, presumably in late 2018," he said, adding that Sea Launch plans to conduct 70 launches of carrier rockets in next 15 years.
"We hope that without making large investments in the upgrade of the Sea Launch we will manage to conduct up to 70 launches in 15 years ," he said.
"We have just signed the purchase agreement, so, of course, we do not have any signed contacts. As long as we do not receive the approval of the state, we will not sign any contracts," he said.
"The Zenit rocket remains central for the Sea Launch, I hope next 15-20 launches will be with Zenit," he added.
According to Filev, S7 Group will invest more than $150 million in the Sea Launch project.
"We have a great deal of various contracts in five jurisdictions, in various currencies. In all, to a sum of about $160 million," he said.
At an earlier news conference in Mexico dedicated to the Sea Launch purchase, Filev spoke about $150 million.
Sea Launch is a multinational spacecraft launch service that used a mobile maritime launch platform. Sea Launch Company was established in 1995 by US Boeing, Russia’s RKK Energia Rocket and Space Corporation, the Norwegian shipyard Kvaerner (now Aker Solutions) and the Ukrainian Yuzhnoye design bureau and Yuzhmash production association. A number of commercial launches to the orbit were carried out by the Russian-Ukrainian carrier rocket Zenit from the Odyssey floating platform in the Pacific Ocean.
Sea Launch declared its bankruptcy in 2009 and in 2010 the Russian enterprise assumed the leading role in the project. However, the company announced the suspension of launches in the summer of 2014.