Home Business Telecoms Superloop teams with Prysmian in ‘record’ optical cable deployment

Telecoms cable manufacturer Prysmian Group has claimed a world record after Australian fibre infrastructure provider Superloop deployed what is purported to be the densest and highest fibre count underwater optical cable ever made.

According to Prysmian, an underwater FlexTube cable containing 1728 optical fibres was successfully deployed by Superloop for its TKO Express project, to provide broadband connections between Siu Sai Wan on Hong Kong Island and the data centre hub of Tseung Kwan O (TKO) Industrial Estate on the mainland.

Prysmian says base 1728f FlexTube cable was made in Europe, in the Calais, France, factory. It was then airfreighted to Australia to apply additional layers of moisture barriers and aluminium tape in the company’s Dee Why, Sydney, factory.

To ensure that the cable was up to the rigours of being buried up to five metres in the Hong Kong seabed, double armouring layers of wrapped steel wires were applied. A final sheath was fitted at the Group’s Liverpool plant, located west of Sydney.

{lodposition stan}The project commenced more than two years ago with the first design of the cable. The manufacturing process took almost six months, shipping the cable to Hong Kong early last December.

“We are extremely proud to be part of such an amazing project, to contribute to history by designing and making something that perfectly fits the need of our customer. Connecting Hong-Kong is connecting the world,” said Prysiman Group senior vice-president telecom Philippe Vanhille.

Prysmian Australia chief executive Frederick Persson said, “It required a strict co-ordination of resources and processes. We wanted to make sure our customer tight deadlines were achieved. We understood the significant, positive impact this cable had to their business in Hong Kong and we have delivered”.

“Prysmian has been able to manufacture the densest and most compact underwater cable ever made thanks to the co-operation between local and overseas Prysmian affiliates, combined with our specific technical requirements,” said Superloop chief operating officer Matt Whitlock.

“Seeing the cable being manufactured in France, processed in two different plants in Australia and then transported on a plane to Hong Kong was simply fantastic. Prysmian has proven its ability to master the engineering challenges of submarine cable construction and installation and then to deliver a 15T drum on time,” he added.

“It was a logistics challenge indeed,” said Persson, “airfreighting a drum weighing 15 tonnes was something that we have never done before. But we mastered it and the drum was successfully delivered to the TKO Port three days before the promised date. It has definitely been a great success for both companies.”

Cover image: courtesy Prysmian Group

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