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SPI Tops International Field of 30, to Win Bangladesh Satellite Prime Consultancy

SPI Partners (left-to-right) Bruce Kraselsky, Roy Kampfer, Shafiq Chaudhuri, and Jean-Michel Eid

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has signed a consultancy agreement with US-based Space Partnership International (SPI) that will see the latter order the country’s first geostationary communications satellite, Bangabandhu-1. Under the deal, BTRC will pay SPI approximately Tk82.5 crore (US$10m) to manage the entire process from the selection of a prime vendor, launch provider and insurance broker to the development of a business plan for the spacecraft. Local reports quoted SPI’s managing director Bruce Kraselsky as saying that the satellite could generate revenues of US$3bn over its 15 year lifetime.

SPI, which won the contract following a competitive bidding process, is also in charge of the frequency coordination for Bangabandhu-1, which is due to be located at 102E. The BTRC, which recently appointed its deputy director Golam Razzaque as the project director, is hoping to have the satellite in service from 2015.

Whether SPI will seek to tap export credit agency support to help fund the project remains to be seen. The company was not available for comment at the time of going to press. Chinese companies, such as China Great Wall Industry Corporation, have been particularly proactive in signing satellite construction and launch deals with developing nations including Pakistan, Nigeria, Bolivia and Venezuela.

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