Thu, 04 Aug 1994

Six overseas companies apply to launch Palapa-C2 satellite

JAKARTA (JP): Six overseas firms have submitted applications to the government offering to launch Indonesia's Palapa-C2 satellite which is scheduled for orbit in 1996.

The president of PT Satelindo, a telecommunications company, Iwa Sewaka, told reporters here yesterday that the six foreign firms include Krunichev-Lockheed, a consortium of Russian and U.S. firms, Arianespace, a European consortium, and two American firms, General Dynamics and McDonnel Douglas.

The other two companies are from China and Japan.

Arianespace, a consortium of France's Aerospatiale, Britain's Aerospace, the Netherlands' Fokker Space and Systems and Germany's Deutsche Aerospace, has been appointed by the government to launch the Hughes-built Palapa-C1 in October 1995. The satellites of the Palapa-C series will replace the Palapa-B satellites.

Arianespace company, which failed to launch two satellites, Turksat 1A and Eutelsat 2 in January, defeated the American General Dynamics firm in the bidding for the launch of the Palapa-C1.

Iwa said a contract for the launch of the Palapa-C2 will be tendered in 1995 under the government's patronage.

"We have the rights to do the tender but we have to consult with the government," he said, adding that competition will be very tough.

He also said that McDonnel Douglas's rocket, called Delta, will likely carry the Palapa-C2, whose weight at separation is 3,000 kilograms. The Palapa B series weighed only 1,300 kilograms.


He said that problems may occur if the Japanese company is chosen because it is allowed to launch only twice annually due to Japan's concern over the preservation of its fishery environment.

Satelindo's director of satellite systems, Sahala Silalahi, said that the Palapa-C1 will be delivered to French Guyana in August 1995 because its launching is scheduled for October or November next year.

He said that Satelindo, the owner of Palapa-C satellites, will also prepare seven antennas for its satellite system and telemetry tracking commanding (TTC).

"Satelindo currently has a US$20 million facility in Daan Mogot in West Jakarta. The antenna and its supporting infrastructure will be constructed with an investment of $40 million," he said, adding that the facility will fully control Palapa-C1 in early 1996.

Satelindo is 60 percent owned by the widely-diversified Bimantara Group, 10 percent by PT Indosat and 30 percent by PT Telkom, both state-owned telecommunications companies. Satelindo runs satellites as well as international and digital cellular telecommunications services.

Iwa said Satelindo collects 20 percent of its revenues from international calls services, 35 percent from the satellite business and 45 percent from the cellular phone business.

Thirteen countries currently lease Palapa's transponders at $1.2 million per transponder. (icn)