Chinese bank backs Papua New Guinea subsea cable

10 August 2018 | James Pearce

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A subsea cable system which will link several locations Papua New Guinea has received financial backing from the Exim Bank of China, according to the local government.

Minister for Public Enterprises and State Investment William Duma said the PNG Kumul domestic cable will be constructed in preparation for the landing of the Coral Sea cable system, which will connect Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands to Australia.

The Kumul cable will connect Port Moresby, Alotau, Popondetta, Lae and Madang, boosting internet capacity nationwide. It will come under PNG DataCo – the wholesale arm of Kumul Telikom, with Huawei appointed for construction.

According to the National, Duma said: ““We would like to thank the people of China, who through the Exim Bank of China have agreed to fund this important domestic project to the tune of US$200 million.”

The Kumul cable will link up with the Coral Sea cable at new landing station in Kila Police Barracks in Port Moresby, with construction due to be completed by the end of 2018.

In June, Vocus was picked by the Australian government to roll out the 4,000km cable which is the first of its kind to land in the Solomon Islands, which has previously been served completely by satellite. It will also replace an aging low capacity cable that currently links PNG to Australia.

The Australian will fund around two thirds of the 20tbps cable project according to several reports.

Duma added: “The Australian government has agreed to help the Government of Papua New Guinea by funding most of the cost of the cable from Sydney to Port Moresby. I have been advised that the Australian government has selected a company called Vocus, who will be responsible for the construction of the cable to PNG as well as to Solomon Islands.

“We are grateful to Australia for continuing to help us when we need them.”