China To Help Sri Lanka Launch Telecom Satellite

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PARIS — The government of Sri Lanka on May 25 said it had entered into a partnership with a private company that has contracted with China to build and launch a telecommunications satellite in 2015 or 2016.

A newly formed Sri Lankan company, SupremeSAT (Pvt) Ltd., has signed an agreement with the Sri Lanka Board of Investment that the government said is valued at $20 million and will rise to $320 million as the project develops.

The company has concluded the terms of a construction and launch contract with China Great Wall Industry Corp. of Beijing, which coordinates Chinese commercial satellite and launch services export sales.

SupremeSAT will operate the satellite, a Chinese DFH-4 model, at Sri Lanka’s 50 degrees east slot in geostationary orbit. The government statement said the satellite will deliver “broadband and networking services, broadcast solutions, backhaul or range-extension facilities for telecom operators, and services such as e-government and e-learning.”

China Great Wall has signed similar in-orbit delivery deals with the governments of Nigeria, Venezuela, Pakistan, Bolivia and Laos.