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Spanish firms feel discriminated in Galileo project

Spain: Spanish companies, associated with the Galileo, Europe’s satellite navigation system, have complained that they are facing discrimination in the distribution of workload, expansion.com reports. However, Galileo is already facing further delays and cost up to EUR 1.7 billion (USD 2.32 billion) more than expected.

Galileo aims to provide European Union (EU) a strategic technological independence in space and attack a market that will move EUR 20,000 million annually by 2020.

In the first phase, Spain won contracts close to 100 million, capitalised companies such as Indra or GMV, along with other brands such as Thales Alenia Space, GSS, EADS Astrium Crisa, DEIMOS Sapce, Mier, Sener and RIMSA.

But the tables have changed for these companies in the deployment phase, which is funded directly by the EU, and that is the decisive part of the programme. The first setback came in January, when Spain went out of the big awards, while Germany, France and Italy won the major contracts, worth EUR 1,000 million.

The German company OHB took the award for making 14 of 30 satellites, after making a very aggressive bid price, and the French Arianespace was commissioned to launch the first 10 satellites.

However, Spanish companies (whose combined turnover is EUR 566 million), still hoped to achieve its share of the pie. Because as per the agreement finalised in the EU, the winning groups were required to subcontract 40 per cent of their total work.

Meanwhile, the cut in the budget is expected to deal a second blow to the Spanish aerospace industry. The Zapatero government was committed to develop a control center for the Galileo system, which would add to those assigned to Germany and Italy. The government was expected to release a fund of EUR 100 million for the project but this expenditure too appears jeopardized.

Source: expansion.com