December 3, 2019
Area covered by project
On Dec. 2, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $50 million loan agreement with Kacific Broadband Satellites International Limited to provide funding drawn on the JICA-supported Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP) for the construction, launch and operation of a high-throughput satellite (Kacific-1) to provide low cost, high-speed, easily accessible broadband internet in the Asia-Pacific region.
The aim of this project is to establish low-cost, high-speed infrastructure to support use of the internet in Asia-Pacific countries, and especially in isolated areas like the small island countries of Oceania and remote regions of large island nations such as Indonesia and the Philippines. The new satellite will extend low-cost, high-speed internet availability to more than 2 billion people in places such as Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and the Philippines for whom connections are currently unavailable due to factors such as infrastructure inadequacies and unaffordability. This will not only strengthen educational services, expand access to information, increase investment appeal and stimulate regional economies, but help ensure network continuity in the event of disasters or emergencies.
The telecommunications satellite for the system is being built, launched and operated by Kacific Broadband Satellites International Limited(*) with funding by the ADB, including $25 million from the LEAP. Launch of the “Kacific-1” communications satellite is scheduled in Dec. 2019, and it is expected that the satellite will become operational in early 2020. SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, a pioneer in satellite-communications business that deploys both the media business and space business, will supply satellite control, monitoring and operational management.
The LEAP Fund is a part of the follow-up measures for the “Partnership for Quality Infrastructure,” which was announced by the Japanese government on Nov. 21, 2015. Targeting high quality private infrastructure projects in the Asia-Oceania region, the fund provides assistance for such projects organized under various arrangements, such as public-private partnerships.
In March 2016, JICA approved a $1.5 billion investment in private sector investment financing for the LEAP. Since the fund’s launch, financial assistance totaling $500 million has been approved for a wide range of projects, such as health assurance initiatives in India and Indonesia and renewable energy projects in Mongolia and Thailand. Thus far, LEAP has provided financing for 14 projects, and the ADB, on its own account and together with co-financiers, has mobilized $3.7 billion. The LEAP provides support for a wide range of sustainable infrastructure projects undertaken by the private sector in ADB member countries of the Asia-Pacific region, and is directed at projects in fields such as reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, and provision of medical services at reasonable prices.
JICA will continue its collaboration with countries and international organizations to promote quality infrastructure investment and contribute to social and economic development in developing countries and regions based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
(*)Kacific Broadband Satellites International Limited is a private company established in 2013 with the purpose of using satellite communications technology to set up a low-cost, high-speed communications environment for parts of the Asia-Pacific region that lack the environment needed for internet connection.