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Dhaka Tribune

Thales Alenia Space likely to install Bangabandhu satellite

Update : 18 Oct 2015, 07:04 PM

Thales Alenia Space, a Franco-Italian aerospace manufacturer, is reportedly the frontrunner in getting the job of installing the first ever satellite for Bangladesh, BTRC sources have said.

A three-member evaluation committee has reportedly finalised the winner after evaluating bidding documents for the Bangabandhu satellite implementation project, according to sources in Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.

Recently, the evaluation committee handed over its report to the chairman of the regulatory body for initiating further steps, the sources said, adding that the commission will send the report to the Post and Telecommunication Division very soon.  

On condition of anonymity, a high-up of the BTRC told the Dhaka Tribune that even though MDA Corporation of Canada had the lowest bid of $222.75m, it did not win the tender because of some inconsistencies in the price quoted in the tender.

The official said MDA mentioned additional equipments that were not included in the price, meaning the government would have to pay for those equipments later. So if the government selected MDA, it would be a costlier move than picking the second-lowest bidder. 

Considering all facts, the committee reportedly selected Thales Alenia Space, who had the second-lowest bid of $248m.

Four international companies – Great Wall Industry Corporation of China, MDA Corporation, Thales Alenia Space, and Orbital ATK from USA – participated in the tender process of the installation and post-installation support services for launching the country’s first-ever satellite.

Bangladesh has already signed a deal with Russia-based Intersputnik for taking lease of an orbital slot. The government is hoping to launch the satellite by the end of 2017, but it is likely that the deadline will be missed.

Once the satellite is launched into orbit, it will eventually help the country save $14m annually. The government can also earn by renting the satellite.

The estimated cost of the project is Tk2,967 crore, out of which around Tk1,652 crore will be provided by the winning bidder, while the rest will be paid by the government. 

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