Joint venture company Sea Launch (established in 1995 by Norway, Russia, Ukraine and the USA) after hard times being result of generally bad political situation between Ukraine (provider of the Zenit rockets) and Russia seemed to be doomed to bankruptcy. Now it seems that there is chance to keep ultimate sea platform for launching rockets to space operational even if company owes one of its previous share holder large sum of money.
According to TASS news agency it is possible, that Zenit rocket will be replaced by other launch vehicle as soon as new investor will finally buy company from RSC Energia. Sea Launch, which is owned by RSC Energia (which is represented in Sea Launch by Energia Overseas Limited) was managed for most of the time of its history by Boeing (which also invest over $300 million in Sea Launch) recently failed to resume launches planned for 2015 just after five years after restructuration and cumulating 85% of stock by RSC Energia. After winning trial in May 2016, in California, by Boeing, Energia and Ukrainian Yuzhnoe Design Office (Norwegian company Kvaerner paid its debt to Boeing earlier) owe their American partner $355 million (with over $200 million debt by Energia). It means that Sea Launch desperately needs money to resume operating and stay on the market – it is worth to remind, that company annually needs $30 million to preserve its launch platform, ship and whole infrastructure. According to TASS citation from August 26, 2016 Igor Komarov, chief of the Roscosmos, said that new investor was finally found and acquired major stock possessed by Energia, part of the Roscosmos state corporation. Investor wished to remain anonymous, but Igor Komarov told that more details will be unveiled next year. Head of the Energia, Vladimir Solntsev, told TASS that all negotiations should be finished in the early 2017 and Sea Launch should resume operating in the same year. News about using new launch vehicle were also given, unfortunately without any specification about what kind of the rocket it will be used. For sure, Sea Launch is still consider to use Baikonur cosmodrome for sending low cost rockets if there will be no possibility to use new launch vehicle with sea platform.
On picture above: docked sea platform owned by Sea Launch.