Bolivia to buy satellite from Chinese firm

December 14th, 2010 - 11:19 am ICT by IANS  

La Paz, Dec 14 (IANS/EFE) The Bolivian government and China Great Wall Industry Corporation moved a step closer to finalising a deal for Bolivia’s first communications satellite with the signing here Monday of a purchase agreement.Talks on the prospective Tupac Katari satellite, named after the leader of an 18th century rebellion against the Spanish, began in 2009.

Construction is expected to begin within the next three months and the satellite could be launched in 2013, Bolivian Public Works Minister Walter Delgadillo said during the signing ceremony in La Paz.

Bolivia is acquiring a DFH-4 model craft, embodying the third generation of Chinese satellite technology.

While Bolivia’s ABE space agency will oversee the launch and control the operations of the Tupac Katari, the Chinese Space Agency will provide support on frequency and orbit coordination.

La Paz must still reach an agreement with the Chinese bank that is to provide a loan covering 85 percent of the projected $300 million cost of the project.

Once the Tupac Katari is in orbit, Bolivia plans to begin the process of putting up a second satellite to aid in natural resource prospecting, says President Evo Morales.

–IANS/EFE
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