Seychelles submarine cable project-First two repeaters delivered, manufacturing ahead of schedule


21-November-2011

Delegates during the sixth contract co-ordination meeting

Following the meeting, it was concluded that as at the end of October, the project remains on track, with the submarine cable due to come into commercial service before the end of 2012.

Contract co-ordinations meetings are attended by the contractor and the client, and last week’s was the sixth to be held in relation to this project.

The aim of the meeting, which took place at Le Méridien Barbarons hotel, was to ensure that the project is on track as per the plan of work, and that all outstanding actions on the client side – Seychelles Cable Systems company (SCS) – and on the contractor side – Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks (ASN) – are addressed in good time.

The coordination meeting with the ASN was attended on the SCS side by principal secretary for information and communication technology Benjamin Choppy, Tsiresy Randriamampionona, Bertrand Belle, Gilbert Fock-Tave and Paul Pierre. SCS was also supported at the meeting by AXIOM; the specialist submarine sable consultancy firm contracted by SCS as its project & quality assurance manager.

The cable project is a public private partnership, with the three parties involved being the government of Seychelles, Cable & Wireless (Seychelles) and Airtel (Seychelles). The project will be costing approximately € 27 million to implement. This has been financed through equity from the three shareholders and loans from the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank.

At this latest series of meetings, one of the items of discussion was ensuring that the local authorities chart the location of the cable, and that future underwater activities (e.g. dredging) take the presence of the cable into account. Secondly, it was also agreed that the optical cable will be buried from the beach manhole at Beau Vallon, to a sea depth of 60m (or to a distance of 16km from shore) to minimise the risk of anchors and fishing lines getting caught in the cable.

On the building/manufacturing side, the first two repeaters for the system have been manufactured in Greenwich/UK, and it was also confirmed that the SEAS cable system is slotted to be loaded on the cable laying ship around the end of February 2012. This is in line with its projected time-table for its laying and landing in Seychelles towards the end of the second quarter of 2012 and eventual coming into full operation towards end of the third quarter of 2012.

At this meeting, SCS board chairman Benjamin Choppy, on behalf of SCS, also formally signed the acceptance certificates of the first two repeaters manufactured out of the ASN facilities in Greenwich.

There are 16 repeaters in all to be manufactured and after acceptance they are moved to the ASN facility in Calais, France, where the rest of the cable system is being manufactured to await assembly and eventual loading onto the cable laying ship.

The actual manufacturing of the SEAS system components is in reality ahead of schedule with completion anticipated to be in December this year.

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