Govt has not invested in SupremeSat – Minister Siyambalapitiya
Posted on December 8th, 2012

by Uditha Kumarasinghe-Courtesy TheSunday Observer

Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya told Parliament yesterday that the Government has not made any investments in the launch of SupremeSat and none of the satellite orbital slots belonging to Sri Lanka has been allocated for this project.

Making a reply to a series of queries raised by Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe in Parliament on December 6 regarding this project, Minister Siyambalapitiya said according to particulars provided by the Board of Investment, the SupremeSat Solutions (PVT) Limited is a company registered under the provisions of the Companies Act No. 7 of 2007 and its offices are situated at the 33rd Floor of the World Trade Centre. The prime objective of this company is to provide efficient and low cost broadband facilities to Sri Lankan consumers. The company has entered into a joint venture agreement with the Great Wall Industrial Corporation and Sino Satellite Communication Company in China.

The Minister said SupremeSat has submitted a project report to the BOI which has set out the procedure to achieve their objective in three phases. The first phase would be launched in 2012, the second in 2013 and the third in 2015. The estimated investment for the first phase will be US $ 4 million, for the second phase US $ 15 million and the third phase stands at US $ 300 million. The BOI gave its approval on May 15, 2012 to SupremeSat to set up this project at the Pallekele Industrial Zone on the basis of a no objection letter provided by the Telecommunications Regulation Commission of Sri Lanka. The BOI approval has been granted only for the first and second phases of the project.

Under the first phase an earth transmission centre would be set up for up linking and down linking between the earth transmission centre and the ChinaSat 12 (SupremeSat). It is planned to allow for transmission from the SupremeSat satellite and the earth centre during the second stage. It is also envisaged to launch another satellite into orbit in the third phase.

The satellite orbital slots from 50 degree east and 121.5 degree east have been allocated for Sri Lanka. The TRCSL has not given permission to either a local or foreign company to use these slots. ChinaSat 12 uses an orbital slot belonging to China as we have been informed.

The TRCSL has not given permission for a satellite project of the Sri Lankan government.Since SupremeSat 1 satellite is not a Sri Lankan government’s project, its cost and the methodology of covering the cost are not applicable.According to the information furnished by the BOI, the local partners of the venture are Supreme Solutions Pvt Ltd operating from the 33rd floor of the World Trade Centre.

This is a 100 percent Sri Lankan private venture and their total investments for the first and second phases are US $ 2.38 million. According to the BOI the cost for the third phase would be earned from a loan obtained from a foreign bank.

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