Sri Lanka's first satellite venture takes shape with Chinese expertise – Tuesday 18th September 2012 – DaillyFT


Sri Lanka’s first-ever satellite technology company took form yesterday with the signing of the BOI agreement and promising $ 320 million investment in the long-term. SupremeSAT Ltd., the Board of Investment-approved venture, said it has very ambitious plans to take Sri Lanka into the global space race.

With an initial investment of US$ 20 million, which will be further increased up to US$ 320 million, the company,s long-term plan is to utilize the planned orbital slot of Sri Lanka, which is located at 50 degrees east and launch SupremeSAT the country?s first ever telecommunications satellite, the company said in a statement.

SupremeSAT has entered into an exclusive partnership agreement with China?s State-owned China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) for the design, manufacturing and launching of the satellite. It will also secure the marketing facilities of many other satellites owned and operated by CGWIC and also China Satellites Communications Corporation. This investment and our partnership with CGWIC demonstrate investor confidence in the post-war Sri Lankan economy. The political stability supported by the favorable investment climate helps entrepreneurs like us reach space, SupremeSAT Ltd. Chairman R.M. Manivannan said. He expressed pleasure that this venture coincides with the vision of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to make Sri Lanka a Knowledge Hub. We are now closely coordinating with the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission on the necessary approvals for the launch and take this opportunity to thank the Board of Investment for its very supportive role, Manivannan added. CGWIC Deputy Director/Manager Wang Zhongmin said: It is a pleasure to be the exclusive partner of SupremeSAT. We are confident that this partnership will make Sri Lanka’s space ambitions a reality and we are looking forward to be a part of all the space-related activities of SupremeSAT. We are sure this will help Sri Lanka’s technology growth. Established in 1980, CGWIC is the sole commercial organization authorized by the Chinese Government to provide satellites, commercial launch services and to carry out international space cooperation. The company has already signed nine contracts with international customers for manufacture and in-orbit delivery of telecommunication satellites, out of which four have been successfully launched into orbit, whilst the other two are set to be launched next year. Apart from this, it has launched many satellites for domestic purposes and has surpassed the US in the number of successful space launches in 2011. As the professional company promoting international cooperation for China’s space industry, CGWIC is devoted to the internationalized development of China’s space industry. CGWIC has developed into a system integrator for space products and services. It can meet customers’ multi-directional needs by providing comprehensive solutions for commercial launch services, satellite export, satellite ground tracking and control station construction, satellite applications, project financing, project insurance and technical training, etc. Through extensive international cooperation, CGWIC enjoys an excellent reputation in the international aerospace industry, the financial community and the insurance circle. SupremeSAT’s satellite will be the DFH-4 also known as Dong Fang Hong, which means the Rising of the Shining East. DFH-4 is the third generation communications satellite bus in China with high power, strong payload capacity and extended service life.

It consists of propulsion module, service modules and solar arrays. This new venture of SupremeSAT will offer all types of telecommunication services such as broadband and networking services, various broadcast solutions, backhaul or range extension facilities for telecom operators and other services such as e-government and e-learning. Senior representatives from CGWIC were also present during the agreement signing.

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