by Staff Writers
La Paz, Bolivia (XNA) Nov 14, 2011
Bolivia expects huge benefits from the satellite "Tupac Katari", which is being built by a Chinese company and will be put into orbit at the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014, a government official said Wednesday.
Deputy Science and Technology Minister Pedro Crespo said the satellite will benefit Bolivia, one of Latin America's least developed countries, in different areas such as education, medicine and communication.
He added that Bolivia is confident about the advantages the Chinese satellite will offer, and that the government is trying to make the most of it.
The agreement to build the satellite, signed in December 2010 between the Bolivian Space Agency (ABE) and the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), stipulates that Bolivia will have its first telecommunications satellite at the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014.
According to the agreement, the Chinese company will guarantee the quality and high technology of the satellite and its supporting facilities to better serve Bolivia's economic development and the needs of its people.
The satellite will be launched at Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province
Crespo said the project is worth some 300 million U.S. dollars, of which 45 million dollars will be contributed by the Bolivian General Treasury of the Nation, while another 250 million dollars will be loaned by the China Development Bank.
The investment will be self-sustaining and is expected to produce a net profit of 7 million dollars annually, after paying off the loan and operative expenses, the Bolivian government said.
Bolivia will have a DFH-4 satellite of the third generation, which will be used to offer telecommunication services nationwide, the ABE said.
Moreover, Bolivia will be the sixth country in Latin America to have its own satellite, after Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and Chile, which is about to launch its own satellite.
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