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Aqua Comms and Celtic Norse renew subsea MoU

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Aqua Comms and Celtic Norse have confirmed to have entered into a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the development of the Celtic Norse-1 cable system.

In a LinkedIn post, Aqua Comms described the MoU as "heralding renewed cooperation" between the two and the delivery of the Celtic Norse-1 cable system which will run between the West Coast of Ireland and Trondheim in Norway.

Adding that the system will "address the growing demand for reliable and resilient DC interconnectivity and provide a diverse international fibre route into the Nordics from a recognized Atlantic hub".

Speaking exclusively to Capacity, Nigel Bayliff, CEO of Aqua Comms and Erling Aronsveen, CEO of Celtic Norse, explained the details of this renewed MoU, saying:

"The concentration of the existing networks during Covid-19 forced us to pause the development of Celtic Norse-1, but the recent surge in electricity pricing has reaffirmed our belief that data is best stored and computed in higher latitudes – and connecting Ireland to Norway provides a conduit for this to happen. "

Specifically, they say that they are "re-commencing the commercial, technical and construction plans, firming up the potential users and will have further announcements through the year of project milestones".

At the time of the announcement, Aronsveen posted a response saying: "We are extremely pleased to be renewing our longstanding partnership with Aqua Comms and this push to get Celtic Norse-1 over the goal line."

"Together with Aqua Comms, the present owners of Celtic Norse-1, NTE, TrønderEnergi and Eidsiva Energi are committed to provide the critical infrastructure for the further development of the data centre industry in Norway."

According to Bayliff and Aronsveen, construction timelines are "expected to be similar to before, given the nature of the project and the length of the system," which at present is due for completion in 2025 according to the TeleGeography submarine cable map.

In its LinkedIn post, it was mentioned that "we aim to have a contract in force by year-end", when asked of who the builder and installer of the Celtic Norse-1 system would be, the representative explained:

"We will be pleased to share these details when finalised – our construction partner will bring the latest technology in cable construction, capability and reliability. We see this project as a long-term inter-regional highway to facilitate data flows for the new digital economy."