Fugro starts shallow water phase for 2Africa fibre-optic subsea cable project

Fugro has begun its shallow water campaign for the ''2Africa'' subsea fibre-optic cable project which, once installed, will connect 23 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe and deliver more than the total combined capacity of all subsea data cables serving Africa today.

Fugro is supporting the project with offshore and onshore survey expertise, including a geophysical route survey and shallow geotechnical testing to overcome any challenges along the planned route.

Fugro started their survey programme for Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), which includes a pre-installation and engineering survey, permitting support and desk study consultancy, back in March and work will continue for approximately one year from their multipurpose 70 m vessels Fugro Gauss and Fugro Supporter, excluding any route development and additional work. By conducting the deep-water reconnaissance survey first, Fugro has already expedited the cable engineering and manufacturing phase by providing multibeam echosounder data to the ASN project team “on the fly” during the first phase of the project.

Malte Cesson, Fugro’s Commercial Manager for Marine Site Characterisation in Bremen, Germany, said: “We are proud and honoured to be selected by ASN for this project, which in its base configuration will be one of the largest of its kind. The challenging scope of work is further complicated by Covid-19 and the associated protocols but our unrivalled strategic partnership with ASN means we are confident of successful completion within the required time frame and budget.”

The 2Africa cable system is based on the latest fibre-optic technology and will enable resilient and improved low-latency network traffic in times of growing bandwidth demand. Working towards a cable completion date in 2023/early 2024, the system will be more than 37 000 km long, supporting the growth of 4G, 5G and fixed broadband access for hundreds of millions of people and businesses.

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