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Australian LNG receives communications boost

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LNG Industry,

The Nextgen Group has announced that it is partnering with INPEX and Shell to invest in a new project to construct a subsea optical fibre cable system.

The subsea fibre optic cable system will provide the INPEX Ichthys LNG and Shell Prelude floating LNG (FLNG) projects located in the Browse Basin off North West Australia with access to high-speed data and voice communication services for the life of their operations.

Work is set to commence in May 2014 and is scheduled for completion in 2016. 

The Prelude and Ichthys projects will contribute equally to the construction of the system, which the Nextgen Group will build, own and operate.

The subsea fibre optic cable system will stretch approximately 2000 km between Darwin and Port Hedland and will provide an initial design capacity of 3.2 terabytes per second (tbps) and has the potential to scale beyond that as technology matures.

Ichthys Project Managing Director, Louis Bon, said: “This is a great achievement for the Ichthys Project and an excellent example of what collaboration in the oil and gas industry can achieve […] It means that both of these projects, far north of Port Hedland, will be connected to data centres thousands of kilometres away in Perth.”

Shell Prelude Asset Manager, Jim Marshall, commented: “The subsea cable will give us a highly reliable and stable high-speed voice and data service which is essential for effective and efficient operations at our future offshore facilities […]  It means that workers at Shell and INPEX will have an ultra high speed communications link so they can stay in touch with their friends and families while working at offshore facilities. Our investment will also establish a valuable piece of infrastructure that has the capacity to support the development of future offshore resources in the Browse Basin.”

Nextgen CEO, Peter McGrath, added: “As an Australian company we’re delighted to support two global leaders working in a sector that is the heartbeat of the national economy […] This project builds on our successful track record of delivering high speed communications links for businesses, government and other users in underserviced regional and remote markets.”

Adapted from press release by

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