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Government will start the Kumul Satellite-One Project

Finance and National Planning Minister Rainbo Paita says the Government will start the Kumul Satellite-One Project (KSOP) next year to enable the country to own a satellite.

Paita described KSOP as “transformative”, stating that it would contribute towards addressing some of Papua New Guinea’s development challenges, including improving education, health and communication services.

He said clearance for KSOP to come online was given by the State solicitor and the information communications technology committee that was established under the digital transformation bill.

“KSOP is a project that’s been on the table for quite some time,” Paita said.
“When I was the (Information) Communications (Technology) minister, I initiated discussions on the country venturing into owning its own satellite.

“The Cabinet approved for us to acquire the satellite and I was able to travel to Germany at the time and a vendor (OHB) came forward with technical capacity and could provide the satellite for us.

“This year, I’ve put a lot of emphasis onto it and we picked it up now.”
He said in 2019, the cost of the project was around K1.4 billion where a financing company from Germany, KfW, stepped forward to help PNG in terms of procuring and financing the project. Paita said at the time of negotiations that the plan was to build a customised satellite in Germany and would be launched by Space-X.
He said once the country had a satellite of its own:

  • THE cost of communication would be greatly reduced;
  • ELECTRONIC education and health initiatives could be achieved anywhere;
  • PNG waters could be monitored for illegal fishing;
  • THE army and police could address law and order issues;
  • ILLEGAL forestry and land use could be monitored; and,
  • ELECTRONIC voting would be enabled.

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