Solomon Oceanic Cable Company (SOCC) CEO Robin Russell says the tender for the main supply of the submarine cable contract which closed on 17 July is a first step towards implementation...
“Once the bids have been evaluated we will progress to finalise the financing and will then contract with the successful bidder to deliver the submarine cable and supporting terminal equipment,” Russell stated.
He said the total cost, including financing cost, civil works, supporting studies, legal costs, project management costs, contingencies etc, is expected to be in the vicinity of US$68M.
He added the only key issue in constructing submarine fibre-optic cable networks is always "getting the money", that is, the financing. “In the case of Solomon Islands, the approach being adopted is a "PPP" model - a public / private partnership".
“Funding is being provided in the form of equity by the:
SINPF (51% shareholder), and
Our Telekom (49%),
Asian Development Bank (ADB) support in the form of grants and sovereign debt through the Solomon Islands Government, and private debt funding from the ANZ bank and the PSOD (the investment banking arm of the ADB).
SOCC is a 100% Solomon Islands owned company, is responsible for the project.