The EU and EIB Global to issue €40m grant for Medusa subsea cable
The European Commission signed an agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for a €40 million EU grant to support the Medusa subsea cable project.
The Medusa cable is supported by the EU’s Economic and Investment plan for the Southern Neighbourhood and this new round of support was inked on the side lines of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Regional Forum and the EU-Southern Neighbourhood Ministerial meeting.
“Digital transformation and high-speed digital connectivity is crucial in a post-pandemic world. The €40 million grant agreement signed today with the European Commission will improve connectivity between the EU and our North African Partners, bringing next generation access networks to the region while fostering socio-economic benefits," said Ricardo Mourinho Félix, vice-president at the EIB.
"By working together, we can accelerate our efforts in promoting more integration in the region and encourage sustainable development and economic growth, providing more opportunities for all.”
Announced in January of this year the Medusa cable project will connect five Mediterranean EU countries (Cyprus, France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain) with four countries from the EU’s Southern Neighbourhood (Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia). Spanning 7,100km in length, the system will feature twelve landing points in nine EU and Southern Neighbourhood countries.
February sawAlcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) confirms as the vendor supplier for the project. By March Telecom Egypt signed on as the landing party for the Medusa subsea cable in Egypt, followed by Altice Portugal as the landing party for Medusa in Lisbon.
“The Commission and the EIB are teaming up to implement one of the flagships of our Economic and Investment Plan to boost digital connectivity in the Southern Neighbourhood. The €342 million Medusa project will directly connect, for the first time, the Northern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean Sea and the Southern countries among themselves via a high-capacity, multi-country, future-proof optical fibre submarine cable," added Olivér Várhelyi, Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations.
"Through this 7,100km long cable, we will significantly upgrade the interconnectivity, stimulating innovation and research in the region, notably about 500 Universities, institutes of education and research centres and about 4.5 million students will benefit from increased connectivity. The Medusa project will inherently support the region’s economic and social development.”
The €40 million EU grant will support direct connectivity between the research and education communities and users in the North African countries and the EU via the landing station in Barcelona.
Subject to approvals the EIB Governing Bodies, the EIB is due to provide the debt finance for the infrastructure with a contribution of up to €100 million in loans.