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New developments for cable set to connect South America to APAC and Oceania

By Mitchell Hageman
Tue 2 Aug 2022

Further proposals have been issued to begin construction of the almost 15,000 km subsea Humboldt Cable cable, which connects South America to APAC and Oceania.

Datagrid previously announced the large-scale project in June, and today's announcement from H2 Cable and Desarrollo Pais (Chile's state-run infrastructure fund) confirms significant movement on the project in South America.

As per the announcement, Humboldt Cable has issued requests and proposals to build the first subsea cable connecting Latin America with APAC and Oceania. It will support Chile in becoming a digital hub in South America as well as further connecting it to the world. The RFP also aims to select a strategic partner for turnkey supply and installation of the Humboldt Cable.

Initially flagged in late 2021, Humboldt will provide end-to-end connectivity between Valparaiso, Chile and Sydney, Australia, where it will also interconnect with cable systems across Asia. 

Additional branching stubs will allow for connection to other countries and territories, including Juan Fernandez and Easter Island, as well as New Zealand.

Desarrollo Pais is a state-run infrastructure fund majority owned by the Chilean Government (Fondo de Infraestructura), while H2 Cable is a subsidiary of Singapore-based BW Digital.

The cable is set to pave the way for the deployment of essential data centers, AI and other data-driven technologies, helping to put Chile on the digital map.

Desarrollo Pais CEO Patricio Rey Sommer says the new development will help Chile make its mark on the digital map.

"We have set an ambitious goal to transform Chile into a digital hub for Latin America," he says.

Desarrollo Pais and H2 Cable are also looking to partner with the world's best suppliers for turnkey implementation of transoceanic submarine cable systems.

"The project is entering its most challenging stage with the technical definition of the route and schedules for execution now being set, and we have asked that suppliers proposals be based on an Open Cable System model," says Sommer.

International Connectivity Services Ltd, the service company of the Hawaiki Group (now wholly-owned by BW Digital), has been engaged to finalise the system design of Humboldt Cable, and also launch the procurement process and engage with prospective anchor customers.

Depending on responses from the market, Desarrollo Pais and H2 Cable will make the necessary investments to build and operate the system.

"We look forward to working with Desarrollo Pais to realise what will become an absolutely critical piece of digital infrastructure for South America, providing unprecedented scale and quality of connectivity with the Asia Pacific and Oceania," says BW Digital CEO Remi Galasso.

Adding to other BW Digital projects, Humboldt Cable will join a number of large-scale subsea cables promising to reshape the digital landscape throughout the Pacific, including the Hawaiki Transpacific Cable, in service since 2018, and the Hawaiki Nui Cable currently in development.

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