Yangtze Optical Fibre and Cable in African expansion

16 May 2016 |

Yangtze Optical Fibre and Cable (YOFC) has announced a number of new contracts as it expands its global market to telecommunication regions which have been historically underdeveloped.

The largest international optical fibre cable manufacturer by volume revealed a number of new African contracts in its announcement.

The company has been growing since it carried out an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong in December 2014. It has already set up joint ventures in Myanmar, Indonesia, and South Africa. All of these governments want to close the digital divide between themselves and the rest of the world.

YOFC has invested R150m into an optical fibre manufacturing plant in KwaZulu-Natal. The plant, which will be operated under the South African subsidiary Yangtze Optics Africa Cable (YOA), and will be constructed near the Dube Trade Port Special Economic Zone. It is planned to be operational in January next year and should create 150 local jobs.

The ‘Trans Africa Information Superhighway’ which is a blueprint agreed at the Forum on Africa-China Cooperation in South Africa last year, includes ambitious plans to lay 150,000km of optical fibre cable network, covering 82 African cities.

In January 2015, YOFC signed a cooperation agreement with Indonesia PT Monas Permata Persada to establish a joint-venture optical fiber cable factory in Indonesia.

The JV was set up with an initial capital of $10 million. YOFC holds a 70 percent stake in the JV, the first of its kind in Indonesia, and YOFC's first JV overseas. The Chinese company will be working with the Indonesian government to make its recent national broadband plan a reality.

In March 2015, YOFC set up a joint venture in Myanmar with a local optical fiber cable producer. The JV's output will be 1 million kilometers of cable per annum.

The next focus of overseas expansion will be Africa.

Established in 1988, YOFC is itself a JV by three partners: the China Huaxin Post and Telecommunication Economy Development Center, Wuhan Yangtze Communications Industry Group Company Ltd and Draka Comteq of the Netherlands. Its product portfolio covers three types of fibre: fibre preform, optical fibre, and cable fibre.

The Africa JV is based in Johannesburg with initial planned production capacity of 1 million kilometers per year.