The specialist cable ship KDDI Pacific Link (KPL) arrived in Malakal port, Palau this morning. KPL has been engaged by NEC, supplier of Belau Submarine Cable Corporation’s (BSCC) new cable linking Ngeremlengui, Palau, with Guam via the SEA-US cable. KPL has just completed a grapnel operation to recover the stub cable connected to a Branching Unit on SEA-US, after completing installation of the Yap cable in August. [restrict

KPL will only be in port until Saturday. There will be a chance for the crew and the cable specialists to find their land-legs, after a long stretch at sea. Final plans for the remainder of marine operations will be reviewed, and on 2nd and 3rd September KPL will recover the Pre-Lay Shore End that was installed through the West Passage on 5th and 6th June this year.

The West Passage will be closed from dawn on 2nd September to dusk on the 3rd September, to ensure safety while KPL is on station in the west approaches to the passage.

Once the PLSE is recovered, it will be jointed to the main cable in the KPL cable tanks. Cable will be laid out to the buoyed off stub at SEA-US and there the final splice will be completed on 8th or 9th September. The final splice is a huge milestone on the BSCC construction schedule.

It marks the first time we will have a connected end-to-end system. Importantly, it also marks the transition of the project focus from construction to testing and implementation.

President of Palau, His Excellency Tommy Remengesau Jr, said, “I commend the entire BSCC Team and their Partners for reaching yet another milestone in our fiber optic cable project.  I know that we are all excited to see this entire project complete and I congratulate everyone for keeping on track. Palau looks forward to a successful testing and we certainly are eager for December when high speed internet connectivity comes to Palau.”

BSCC Chairman, George Rechucher, was delighted to see so much progress. “We are very confident that the BSCC submarine fibre optic cable network will be delivered on time in December, and under budget as well.” He commended the outstanding expertise and professionalism of everybody involved. “This is an extraordinarily complex project, involving state-of-the-art technology directed at bringing abundant, affordable, accessible bandwidth to Palau for the first time.” (BSCC Press Release) [/restrict]