Hong Kong Aerospace Technology Group (HKATG) has signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a $1bn spaceport in Djibouti.
The signatories were HKATG, the Djibouti government, and Belgian software developer Touchroad International. HKATG and Touchroad will establish a joint venture project company to sign a formal contract in March.
The spaceport will be built in the northern Obock Region of Djibouti. The aim is to construct seven satellite launch pads and three rocket testing pads over five years. The joint venture will supply the technology and Djibouti will supply 10 sq km of land on a lease of at least 35 years.
The agreement says the joint venture must also build a port and “highways of international standard” for transporting the construction materials, as well as renewable power schemes.
The agreement follows a visit to Djibouti on 4 January by Allen Fund, vice president of HKATG. During the visit Hu Bin, China’s ambassador to Djibouti, said the embassy would support the project.
According to HKATG, Hu called on the parties to “strengthen research, establish a firm awareness of compliance, balance corporate interests and social responsibilities, promote the diversified economic development of Djibouti, and contribute to Sino-Djibouti cooperation”.