Nextgen Group and Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks have switched on Australia’s first purpose-built, subsea, fibre optic network, running 2,100 km from Darwin to Pert Hedland.
The North West Cable System (NWCS) creates a link from Darwin in the Northern Territory to Port Hedland in Western Australia, and connects the INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project’s offshore facilities and Shell’s Prelude FLNG facility to their onshore data centres and business headquarters.
Nextgen CEO David Yule said the $US139 million cable system provides essential support for Australia’s offshore oil and gas projects.
“High-speed connectivity has now emerged as a vital component to operate any business regardless of geographical location, be it 200 km offshore or in remote and regional Australia,” said Mr Yule.
“The completion of the NWCS is a significant milestone for the Nextgen Group and will deliver a digital dividend to Australia’s resources sector and to regional communities in Australia’s North West.”
Shell Australia’s vice president Prelude, David Bird, said the investment in the subsea optical fibre cable system with the Nextgen Group would deliver critical Australian public utility infrastructure.
“We are very proud of this partnership, not only will it make life better for our people and streamline our communications, but this is infrastructure that will provide real benefits in high quality communications to Northern Australia,” said Mr Bird.
Ichthys Project Managing Director Louis Bon said the subsea cable provides a highly reliable voice and data service which is essential for the safe operation of modern offshore oil and gas facilities.
“This is a great achievement for the Ichthys LNG Project and an excellent example of what collaboration in the oil and gas industry can achieve,” said Mr Bon.
The launch event, held in Darwin yesterday, was attended by Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matthew Canavan and the Northern Territory Minister for Corporate and Information Services Lauren Moss.