"In response to strong indicative interest from domestic and international parties for capacity an expression of interest (EOI) to solicit firm commitments has today been released for potential customers. The EOI outlines the project to customers and the market and is designed to clearly articulate the need for additional competitive international capacity into Australia," Pipe says.
It promises that customers will receive a significant discount to current pricing for international capacity and will be offered pricing protection mechanisms to ensure capacity investments are
protected by way of capacity credits.
Commenting on the latest development, Bevan Slattery, CEO of Pipe International, the subsidiary formed for the project, said: "I think it is fair to say that the level of confidence the Board has in this project proceeding is significantly higher than as recent as a month ago. The interest expressed thus far has been to the higher end of our expectations and includes a diverse spectrum of parties including domestic carriers to international carriers and government entities."
He added: "Potential construction plans have progressed such that internal resources have been dedicated to coordinating the regulatory and construction requirements for the project with our consultants and government agencies in several countries."
The initial, desktop, route survey has been completed ahead of schedule. "The initial survey works has provided us with confirmation that our route planning and pricing methodology is indeed accurate and is allowing us to push forward with vendor discussions and our RFP process," Slattery said. "So far our timetable is on-track and we expect to have a decision on the project by May."