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Press Releases

September 23, 2014

Signing of Japanese ODA Loan Agreement with Sri Lanka
Introducing a Japanese technology for digital television broadcasting

photoSigning ceremony

On September 23, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a loan agreement with the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to provide a loan up to 13,717 million yen for assistance for the Digitalization of Terrestrial Television Broadcasting Project.

Since armed conflict came to an end in 2009 after more than 25 years, Sri Lanka has experienced a significant growth period, including economic growth exceeding an average of 7 percent per year. With that rapid growth, there has been a rapid spread of mobile phones and other communication devices, accompanied with an increase in television and radio programs, making it a challenge to use frequencies effectively, as airwave frequencies are common resources for such technologies. To promote the consolidation of peace after the conclusion of armed conflict, a trilingual policy is being promoted under governmental leadership in which Sinhala, Tamil and English are taught, and there is a rising need for subtitled and multilingual broadcasts in the television broadcasting. In recent years, natural disasters have struck on a frequent basis, such as the floods of 2009 and 2011 which caused severe damage, and there is therefore also a demand to use the media to provide disaster-preparedness information in a prompt, simple manner.

Given these circumstances, the Government of Sri Lanka decided in April 2014 to adopt ISDB-T (integrated services digital broadcasting-terrestrial), the standard used in Japan, for digital television.

An objective of this project is to develop platforms, such as the transmitting stations and network operation centers required for ISDB-T digital television broadcasting, along with studios and other facilities. After the introduction of digital television, effective frequency use will be possible with television multiplexing and other technologies, which will also make it possible to provide much more diversified information than with conventional analog broadcasting, including subtitled and multilingual broadcasts, as well as data broadcasting that includes meteorological and disaster-preparedness information.

JICA’s policy is to support nation-building in Sri Lanka for development that all residents can enjoy, including improvements to the socioeconomic infrastructure toward raising Sri Lanka to the rank of an upper middle-income country.

Reference
1. Terms and Amount of Loan

Project title Amount (million yen) Annual interest rate (%) Repayment
period
(years)
Grace
period
(years)
Procurement
Project Consulting services
Digitalization of Terrestrial Television Broadcasting Project 13,717 0.10* 0.01 40 10 Japan tied

* Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) apply to the project.

2. Executing Agency
Ministry of Mass Media and Information
Address: 163, Kirulappona Mawatha, Polhengoda, Colombo 05, Sri Lanka
Phone: +94 (11) 251-3467, fax: +94 (11) 251-2343

3. Planned Implementation Schedule
(i) Completion of project: June 2018 – when the facilities are put into service
(ii) Issuing of letters of invitation for consulting services (including basic design and construction monitoring): October 2014
(iii) Tender announcement of initial procurement package for international competitive bidding on project construction:
Procurement package title: Package 1 (Colombo Area Transmitting Station, Network Operation Center Equipment, and others)
Release date: May 2015

4. JICA Contact Information
For further information about the procurement schedule, please contact the party listed below.
Contact Point for the Mass Media and Information
JICA Sri Lanka Office
Address: 10th Floor, DHPL Building, No. 42, Navam Mawatha, Colombo 02, SRI LANKA
Phone: +94-11-230-3700, 94-11-230-0470
Fax: +94-11-230-3692, 94-11-230-0473

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