Sri Lanka’s takeoff to space age today! – DaillyFT

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The Board of Investment of Sri Lanka announced that today, 22 November, a Sri Lankan enterprise operating under the BOI, Supreme SAT, will be launching a space satellite, for the first time in the history of the country.Supreme SAT is an excellent example of international cooperation in the field of investment, being a partnership between the Supreme Group from Sri Lanka and China Great Wall Industry Corporation, a major and diversified State-owned Chinese conglomerate. Supreme SAT is currently the only Sri Lankan space sector brand in the country.

This launch will be the first of three scheduled to take place respectively on 22 November 2012, June 2013, and December 2015. The project also illustrates the international nature of the space industry today. The first satellite, which is the one scheduled to be launched today, was built by Thales, a French company which is a leader in space industries.

The satellite will be launched by a Chinese ‘Long March’ vehicle from the Xi Chang Launch Centre in China. This is a joint project between the Supreme Group and the China Satellite Communications Company Ltd.

Chief Executive Officer of the Supreme Group Vijith Peiris commended the investor friendly invaluable assistance provided by the BOI, both at the Head Office and the Kandy-Pallekelle Zone, on the establishing of this groundbreaking project which is novel and will offer many benefits to the public.

The project will see the emergence of a completely new and high technology sector in Sri Lanka, the space industry, which will result in the creation of new skills and transfer of know how into the island, which is major objective of the BOI. In addition to the launches of the three satellites, the project will lead to the construction of a space station/space academy on 10 acres of land that are located within the BOI Export Processing Zone at Pallekele. The value of the station is US$ 20 million. This facility’s main role will be the controlling of satellites, while a space academy will conduct on the job training for Sri Lankan scientists in this new field.

The first satellite will offer Direct Home TV (DTH) to the satellite users, which is an area that is growing very fast worldwide. Planned future satellites in addition to DTH will also offer services such as broadcasting, events and up-linking, broadband services and backbone connectivity, broadband internet services access, and other telecommunications applications as well. This BOI project also offers opportunities for providing services to other countries and Supreme SAT have already began discussions of cooperating with Afghanistan.

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