Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The state-run Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is set to borrow 157.5 million euros from HSBC for the country’s first space satellite Bangabandhu-1.
BTRC Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood and HSBC Bangladesh Deputy Chief Executive Officer M Mahbub Ur Rahman signed an agreement in this connection at BTRC headquarters in the capital on Friday.
The interest rate on the loan will be LIBOR plus 1.51 per cent in estimated 12 years. The London interbank offered rate is considered to be one of the most important interest rates in finance.
The money will be spent on the spacecraft’s design and installation with insurance coverage, BTRC officials said.
Bangladesh government wants to launch the satellite, involving BDT 29. 68 billion on December16 on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the country’s victory in the Liberation War.
Of the total cost, the government is providing BDT 13.15 billion from national exchequer while the remaining BDT 16.52 billion is being provided by bidder’s financing.
Earlier on November 11 last year, the telecom regulator signed an agreement ThalesAlenia Space, awarding the French firm work order for manufacturing and launching the commercial and broadcast satellite.
Officials familiar with the launching process said a satellite is sent into space on top of a rocket. Aimed at averting any kind of risk, Bangladesh has decided to keep ready a spare rocket for the launch that may increase the cost slightly.
Bangladesh will be the 54th country when the satellite would be launched into the orbital slot on 119.1 degree east longitude which (slot) was bought from Russian satellite company “Intersputnik” for US$ 28 million last year.
The Bangabandhu satellite will have 40 transponders, which would be able to serve SAARC countries, Indonesia, and the Philippines, as well as countries such as Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. One transponder is equivalent to 36 MHz.
Under the project, two earth stations would be set up at Joydevpur in Gazipur and Betbunia in Rangamati apart from a satellite.
Bangladesh spends around $14 million annually on satellite rents for running television channels, telephones and radio connectivity.
Once launched, the satellite would save around BDT 1.10 to BDT 1.20 billion annually in foreign currency as broadcasting expenditure.