Home Business Telecommunications Vocus' North-West Cable System is up and running

Vocus' North-West Cable System is up and running

The Vocus Group, Australia's fourth largest telecommunications outfit, has successfully connected its high-speed fibre-optic North-West Cable System to the INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project and Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied natural gas facility located off the north-west coast of Australia.

The cable system was built by Vocus along with Shell and Japanese oil company INPEX and runs for a distance of 2100 kilometres, linking Darwin and Port Hedland.

It is capable of speeds up to 40Gbps and is designed to enable high-speed data connections to other key hydrocarbon prospects along its route.

Vocus said construction of the cable system began in late 2014 and was completed in September last year. It is a two-fibre pair, 12TB combined capacity cable and the only combined telecommunications and resource industry cable in the country.

The cable system will connect the Pilbara region which has 44,000 employees and annual exports of more than $47 billion.

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Alcatel Submarine Networks’ cable ship Lodbrog preparing for the INPEX jointing operation.

Vocus chief executive Geoff Horth said: “Connection of these services isn’t just an important milestone for Vocus, it’s an improvement to the essential telco services in an often-neglected part of Australia and a fast and secure connection to families and teams for the fly-in-fly-out crew on these platforms."

Ichthys Project managing director Louis Bon said: "INPEX is proud of the close industry collaboration that enabled this cutting-edge communications system to be put in place.

"Not only is this initiative strengthening the safe operations of the INPEX-led Ichthys LNG Project’s offshore facilities, it is also delivering immediate benefits to our teams and the Northern Territory and Western Australia communities connected to the cable."

David Bird, vice-president of Shell's Prelude floating liquefied natural gas platform, said: “Shell is extremely pleased with the partnership with Vocus and INPEX.

"The NWCS will improve the collaboration of our onshore and offshore teams during the commissioning and operation of Prelude, and importantly, will transform the offshore experience for our offshore teams ensuring they are well connected to home and family."

vocus cable

The Marine Remote Operated Vehicle being lowered from Lodbrog when making the INPEX branch joint.

Photos: courtesy Vocus Group

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.