BSCC’s PC2 project is financed by equity sourced from Compact of Free Association funding from US Department of the Interior; debt from Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP); and grant support from USAID, the Australian Embassy, Koror and AIFFP.
The project will construct a BSCC owned 130 km submarine system allowing connection from Palau to the trunk cable network, which links Singapore and Jakarta to the US west coast.
This will establish two new routes for Palau – to Singapore and direct to USA mainland, to complement the existing PC1 route to Guam.
Shore end will be landed early morning, with ship on site at Ngardmau at dawn to commence operations.
Ship will take station off the dock and feed out the shore end of the cable, which will be supported with floats and towed into the beach bulkhead, through armoured conduits and secured in the Beach Pit (BP) on the dock
Once the cable is secured in the BP, the Strider will depart, laying the cable out to deeper water, some 7 km offshore, where it will lie to await the main lay vessel’s arrival.
The primary contractor is NEC of Japan. NEC have sub-contracted landing support to Surangel and Sons Construction of Palau. NEC has chartered the Strider, the same vessel used for the PC1 PLSE at Ngeremlengui, for marine operations.
A limited number of press and officials will be invited to attend, given the Ngardmau dock is a work site and will be closed to the public.
Also, the Ngardmau channel will be closed during inshore marine operations.
Land cables will be laid in armoured conduits from the BP at the Ngardmau dock to the Cable Landing Station (CLS) cable pit. A modular CLS has been constructed in Perth, Australia, by DXN Limited and is being shipped to Palau to be ready for terminal and power equipment installation in August 2022.
Once all this work is complete, final end-to-end testing will be undertaken in Q4 2023, when the main trunk system is completed.
This cable landing represents a key milestone in BSCC’s PC2 project, which will land a second international cable connection for Palau at Ngardmau, making the nation’s international communications links much more resilient and flexible.
Together with BSCC’s PC1 project, which landed the first international submarine cable network for Palau in 2017, BSCC’s network will provide robust, high-speed, equitable access to a variety of international destinations from the new BSCC Cable Access Point at Airai.
Once PC2 is completed in late 2023 or 2024, Palau will be one of the most securely connected locations in the Pacific, able to confidently embrace an increasingly digital future.