The grand opening of the Samoa Cable Depot at the Matatutu Wharf was the realisation of a critical component in Samoa’s goal to becoming the submarine cable hub for the Pacific.
The $5 million state of the art building project, undertaken in partnership by the Samoa Submarine Cable Company (S.S.C.C.) and T.E. SubCom, will service the South Pacific Marine Maintenance Agreement (S.P.M.M.A.).
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi congratulated the conglomerate for their strong working relationship, saying such a breakthrough is a tangible example of regional cooperation to realise the “One Polynesia strategy.”
“In February I spoke about Samoa’s aspiration to become the submarine cable hub linking Polynesia to Samoa and the rest of the world as a real and tangible example of regional cooperation – the One Polynesia strategy was well received by the leaders of the Polynesian leaders group during its annual meeting held in Tuvalu in June 2018,” he said.
“Another important project which encompasses the One Polynesian vision is the Manatua cable linking Tahiti, Cook Islands, Niue to Samoa in order to provide world class communications services for French Polynesia, Cook Islands and Niue and Samoa as early as Q1 2020.”
The Prime Minister also emphasized the significance of having the multi-billion dollar company, T.E SubCom invest in Samoa given their reputation as being pioneers in submarine cable communications technology.
“Seven months ago T.E SubCom placed their faith in Samoa, and today Samoa has delivered upon its promise to deliver the Samoa cable depot,” he said.
“Whilst the Samoa cable depot is based in Samoa, the implications for Samoa are profound, as this depot will maintain more than 28 telecommunications and power cable systems with a combined length of over 65,000 km in the Pacific and Oceania region.
“The partnership also signifies the success of Government policy to encourage to Samoa foreign investors like TE SubCom who are attracted by Samoa’s favorable economic conditions, investment incentives and strong government support.”
T.E SubCom are contracted for five years and the Prime Minister listed some significant advantages to having the C.S Reliance and the Cable Depot in Apia starting with increased revenue for Samoa Ports Authority and local stevedoring companies through port fees and charges.
The positive economic impacts from the presence of the C.S Reliance and its 60+ crew as well as other cable ship crews needing to purchase goods and services will boost local economy.
“I understand that plans are in place to develop a submarine cable jointing school to train and to certify Samoan and foreign engineers to undertake submarine cable repair and maintenance activities” Tuilaepa said “There are upskilling opportunities for Samoans with specialised training for our sailors and I.C.T professionals, T.E SubCom will allow 2 Samoa trainee sailors on board the CS Reliance as part of their seafarers training.”
T.E SubCom representative, Thomas Soerensen, highlighted the outstanding quality of work that went into the depot and praised the convenient location on the wharf, which will enable them to further their business in Samoa.
Currently T.E SubCom is servicing 31 cable systems as far out as Australia, Singapore and Hawaii with their system spares being stored in Samoa. He outlined the many benefits of having a depot in Samoa that will store major parts and kits that are needed for repairing cable systems in the region and also added that 22 Samoans are working with the company to assist with discharging the cable into the depot.
The Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’itele Niko Lee Hang, cut the ribbon.