China will remain main contractor for Nigerian satellites

It was announced that China will be main contractor for new Nigcomsat satellites.

China and Nigeria are starting negotiating new contract for additional Nigcomsat satellites. Government of Nigeria is planning to spend over $700 million for this investment thanks to the credit provided by China Exim Bank.  Chinese contractor, China Great Wall Industry Corporation will develop two satellites: Nigcomsat-2 and Nigcomsat-3. Both satellites will be equipped in C, Ka and Ku band transponders with operational life at 15 years. Nigcomsat-2 will be placed on 19° E and will cover with its range Nigeria, China and countries of Near East; Nigcomsat-3 will be placed on 22° W and provide broadcasting and communication services to Nigeria and both Americas. Nigcomsat-1R will remain on 42.5° E and will still cover with onboard 4 C, 14 Ku, 8 Ka and 2 L-band transponders following areas:  Western parts of Africa, Central Africa, South Africa, parts of Asia, Europe, East Africa. After launching next two satellites, Nigeria will become one of most important satellite operators in Sub-Saharan Africa with constellation on five satellites (Nigeriasat-1, Nigeriasat-2 and Nigeriasat X Earth observation satellites are still operating along with Nigcomsat-1R). It is worth to mention that Nigerian Communication Satellite (NigComSat) Limited won contract for space trials of first Byelorussian satellite, Belintersat-1 (You can read more about Belintersat-1 here) which will be launched on 15th January 2016 from Xichang, China. Nigcomsat-1 will perform In-Orbit test (IOT) and carrier Spectrum Monitoring (CSM) services for Belintersat-1 on 16th January 2016. It shows technical potential and abilities of Nigerian space agency (National Space Research and Development Agency - NASRDA).

First Nigcomsat satellite was built under contract signed between Nigeria and China Great Wall Industry Corporation in 2004. Worth $310 million, contract provided, in addition to the same manufacturing and launch of satellite, construction of ground infrastructure, personnel training and supervision of the entire undertaking. It was first such completive contract performed by China and due this fact very important for further position of China on commercial satellite market. After three years both ground facilities and built on DFH-4 bus, Nigcomsat-1 were ready. Satellite was launched on atop of Long March 3B from Xichang on 2007. With estimated operational life of 15 years satellite was placed on 42° E orbit. Unfortunately due the wrong design of solar arrays, satellite was turned off on 10 November 2008 09:00 GMT and was announced as lost. Chinese partner was forced to pay insurance for Nigeria (around $150 million) and signed contract for free delivery of next satellite to replace Nigcomsat-1. Nigcomsat-1R was launched on 19 December 2011 (from Xichang satellite launch center with Long March 3B) after three years of performing tasks of Nigcomsat-1 by Chinese satellites.