Supremesat Pvt Ltd (SupremeSAT), a regional satellite services provider, delivered Sri Lanka’s first communication Satellite, SupremeSAT – I into orbit from the Xichang Space Centre in the Sichuan Province of China, on the 27th of November 2012 at 15:43hours Sri Lanka time.The satellite was injected successfully into geostationary transfer orbit as planned and we can confirm that the satellite is in good health and has fully deployed its solar arrays and antenna’s in preparation for In–Orbit testing, which will commence shortly.
SupremeSAT – I will be placed in geo stationery orbit (35,786 km above sea level), which is also known as the Clarke Orbit or the Clarke Belt in honour of the legendary Sir Arthur C. Clarke, a longstanding resident of Sri Lanka who conceived the concept of communication through geostationary satellites. The satellite is jointly owned by SupremeSAT and ChinaSatcom (currently operating a fleet of 7 satellites), a sister company of China Great Wall Industry Corporation, our joint venture partner for the space program.
SupremeSAT – I will commence commercial operation in mid-2013, once testing is completed. We took on the challenge to be the first Sri Lankan company to co-own a satellite and branded it as SupremeSAT – I (while China Satcom branded it as ChinaSat 12), to put Sri Lanka’s space program on the fast track. The satellite will be positioned into the Chinese orbital slot located at 87.5 degrees East where it will serve both SupremeSAT’s and ChinaSatcom’s commercial requirements. All relevant approvals from International and Chinese authorities have been obtained for this satellite to be deployed.
We will be utilising the KU band portion of the satellite capacity which is used primarily to provide satellite capacity for direct to home (DTH) operators. The satellite industry as a whole has grown by almost 50% in the last 5 years demonstrating the resilience and potential of the industry despite the global economic slowdown. The main growth in satellite services will come from satellite television services and the Asian market is one of the key regions driving this growth over the next decade. The demand for satellite capacity will also be driven by the increasing use of HD & 3D content. It is our intention to market this capacity mainly to DTH operators in Sri Lanka and the region.
SupremeSAT, is a Board of Investment (BOI) approved venture and was set up with a view to playing a key role in the growing US$180Bn global satellite industry. SupremeSAT is part of the Supreme Group, a privately held enterprise with business interests in commodity trading, reinsurance, logistics, mining and trading as key focus areas where our competitive advantage is created by associations with strong global names. Towards the space program, a joint venture agreement was signed with Great Wall Industries Corporation of China, a leading state owned enterprise in China, which comes under China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).
Our space program as it stands runs over a period of 5 years commencing last year, and the whole program is likely to cost approximately USD 320 Million in its entirety. The program however is broken up in to following stages:
1. Joint launch of satellite in late 2012 – SupremeSAT – I (just accomplished) which would be commercially marketed from July 2013.
2. Setting up of a teleport/space academy in the Pallekelle BOI zone, to be operational from mid-2013.
3. Launch of SupremeSAT – II (fully owned satellite) in mid-2016.
The company will work to ensure that wherever TRC approvals are required, these would be complied with.
The amount committed to the program to date is only portion of the overall budget of USD 320 million, and this investment is now met by shareholder commitment and assistance from the Chinese partner in providing supplier credit on a bridging basis, which will later be converted into a long term commercial borrowing backed by contracts for the satellite capacity leased. Globally renowned advisory firms have been appointed to assist us in this regard.
This venture is a truly private sector initiated one, with openings for Foreign Direct Investment, and has no government involvement with no public funds being utilized or being considered for this project. We certainly have the support and encouragement of President HE Mahinda Rajapaksa and his government, which is not exclusive to us, but to any private enterprise willing to aim high and compete on a global scale.
SupremeSAT is proud to be the first company in this industry segment to develop a local labour force having the skills needed for a Sri Lankan space program and working towards taking our nation to where she deserves to be on the global stage.
“The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible” – Arthur C. Clarke
BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF SUPREMESAT PVT LTD