Nexans Wins Contract to Brazil

Source: 2/1/2021, Location: South America

Cables bringing high-speed connectivity to remote communities will improve public health and education as well as supporting sustainable growth in line with Nexans’s commitment to leading the charge to a brighter future.

- Environmental-friendly cables installed on the riverbeds in the Amazon basin.
- Latest contract for 2021 will see the delivery of a further 620 km of fiber-optic cable.
- Growing momentum in submarine cables enabled Nexans STSC to build a record backlog of orders.

Nexans Submarine Telecom and Special Cables (STSC) business continues to develop its customer relationship with the Programa Amazonia Conectada (PAC) to bring high-speed data connectivity to a remote and environmentally sensitive region of Brazil. The project involves laying fiber-optic cables on the riverbeds of the Amazon Basin.

In 2020, 470 km of submarine cables were delivered, taking the total length installed so far to 1,170 km. This has now been followed by an order for a further 620 km of cable, scheduled for delivery in 2021. The project is just one example of the growing momentum that enabled Nexans STSC to build a record backlog of orders by the end of 2020.

The Amazonia Conectada project is a strategic initiative developed by the Brazilian Army, with the support of the country’s Ministries of Defense, Health, Education and Communication. The overall plan is to install approximately 6,000 km of sub-fluvial fiber-optic cables in rivers of the Amazonas region to provide efficient and reliable internet connection. This will bring connectivity to more than 50 cities and 4.5 million people, providing opportunities for improving public health, education and supporting sustainable development.

Nexans has been involved from the start of the Amazônia Conectada project in 2015. It has supplied un-repeatered submarine fiber optic cables (URC-1) with 100 GB/sec data transmission capacity for the four phases completed to date. When delivered in 2021, the latest order will take the total length of cable supplied to 1,790 km, providing a perfect example of Nexans’s commitment to leading the charge for a brighter future that is more connected, accessible, safe and sustainable.

Because the project is taking place in the environmentally sensitive rainforest area, environmental factors are of critical importance. This is why the cables are being laid on the riverbeds rather than being installed on aerial towers that would need trees to be felled. The Nexans cables are designed to provide the latest communications technology with no need for maintenance. Crucially, tests carried out by the Brazilian authorities prior to approval confirmed that the URC-1 cables would not emit a single particle of pollutant into the river.

General Decílio de Medeiros, Deputy Chief of the Science and Technology Department of the Brazilian Army, said: “This flagship project is bringing digital inclusivity that will benefit the less favored populations of the Amazon region and those who live far from urban centers. It is very demanding technically and we welcome the support of Nexans in delivering advanced and highly-reliable fiber-optic cables. We were particularly impressed that Nexans ensured smooth delivery throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, overcoming travel and sanitary restrictions through innovative procedures such as virtual testing, online training and live video transmission.”

Record order backlog
The latest order for the Amazônia Conectada project is just one of many won by Nexans STSC as it ended 2020 with a record order backlog. The main contracts are for customers worldwide in South America, Asia-Pacific, Africa and Europe. They cover STSC’s complete diversified submarine product portfolio covering control umbilicals and Remote Operated Vehicle cables (ROVs), to the energy industry and fiber-optic cables for the offshore telecom industry.

All the cables will be manufactured at STSC’s plant in Rognan, Norway, with project execution and engineering split between the plant and the Norwegian office in Oslo.

Krister Granlie, Vice President of Nexans STSC Business Unit, said: “Nexans has a long track record in submarine fiber-optic projects dating back to 1986, with over 54,000 km of cables installed and in operation worldwide. We are very proud that our recent momentum has enabled us to achieve a record backlog of orders. The key to this success is exemplified in the Amazon project – products that are technically excellent supported by a relentless focus on customer service and delivery.”

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