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SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgarian telecoms company Bulsatcom said it plans to launch the Balkan country's first geostationary communications satellite on Monday in a $235 million project.
BulgariaSat-1 satellite, which will provide high quality television and communication services to Europe and North Africa, is scheduled to lift off from at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 1810 GMT, the company said.
The satellite, to be carried a top of Falcon 9 rocket, should reach an orbit some 36,000 km (22,000 miles) above the Earth and be operational up to 20 years.
"BulgariaSat-1 could be used in force majeure - accidents due to natural disasters - earthquakes, storms and floods when land-based networks are not operational," the company said in a statement.
If the launch is successful, Bulgaria will become the 12th European country to operate a communications satellite.
Bulsatcom has secured financing for the project from the United States' Export-Import Bank and a Deutsche Bank-led consortium of European banks.
Reporting by Angel Krasimirov and Tsvetelia Tsolova Editing by Jeremy Gaunt