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Sea launch loss unlikely to reach $25-$50 million


MILAN, Italy—Relatively little damage to the launch platform owned by Sea Launch Co. means the total insured loss will be less than the $25 million to $50 million estimated by its marine insurers.

Despite the massive explosion on board the floating platform on January 30 leading to the $250 million insured loss of a Boeing satellite, the platform experienced little damage, according to Kjell Karlsen, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Sea Launch at the 14th International Space Insurance conference in Milan. The platform is insured for $260 million in the hull and marine insurance market, led by Lloyd's of London, said Mr. Karlsen. Marine insurers have estimated the loss to be between $25 million to $50 million, but Mr. Karlsen believes the cost will be less although the loss review is not yet completed.

Sea Launch is believed to be the only launch provider to insure its operations for physical damage. The company plans to be up and running and carrying out two launches by the end of the year, according to Mr. Karlsen.