In the campaign (C1 then C2) each of the starting planet has an elevator and yet you can build a new one. It's a Planetary Unique, in theory.
Sorry to hear you are having trouble.
If you could upload a savegame to a cloud service (DropBox, Google Drive, One Drive) and post a link here, the developers can take a look at it.
Savegames are located in \Documents\My Games\GC3\Saves or \Documents\My Games\GC3Crusade\Saves
Thank you for your patience and patronage.
There is no need for a saved game. Launch the Retribution campaign. Click on your only planet on the very first turn, there you see there is already a Space Elevator on the planet AND you can build another. Can you please do so and confirm, it should not take long.
I don't think it's a bug. It's just meant to balance the campaign to get things moving faster.
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