Santiago, Chile – 22 December 2021 – Chile’s Fondo de Infraestructura S.A. (Desarrollo País) has today announced the selection of H2 Cable LP, a subsidiary of BW Digital, as its strategic partner for the development of the first submarine cable to connect Latin America with the Asia Pacific and Oceania.
Projected to span 14,810 km, the Humboldt Cable System will provide end-to-end connectivity between Valparaiso, Chile and Sydney, Australia, where it will also interconnect with systems to Asia, and will include several branches for the potential connection of other countries and territories, such as Juan Fernandez and Easter Island, as well as New Zealand.
The partnership announced today concludes the feasibility phase and is a critical milestone for the project.
Under the contract, Desarrollo País – majority-owned by The Republic of Chile – and H2 Cable will together develop and promote the Humboldt Cable System and, subject to market response, make the required investment to build and operate the cable system.
The two entities have retained International Connectivity Services Ltd, the service company of the Hawaiki Group to finalize the system design, launch the procurement process and engage with prospective anchor customers.
Patricio A. Rey Sommer, director general of Desarrollo País, said: “Today we are taking a fundamental step forward in this project, which is so important for our country. We have decidedly entered the execution stage of the Humboldt Cable by selecting the high-level strategic partner that will join us in the development of this infrastructure that will put Chile at the forefront of digital connectivity worldwide. We have set ourselves the challenge of transforming Chile into a digital HUB for Latin America and that is why the cable will have the capacity to connect other partner countries. We are convinced of the enormous technical capacities of the partner we have chosen, which will allow us to carry out this project with high technical standards while protecting the interests of our country”.
Remi Galasso, chief executive officer of H2 Cable, described the Humboldt Cable System as a strategic initiative that will deliver a significant boost to international connectivity between South America, APAC and Oceania.
“We see this project as an opportunity to establish a new and fully diverse trans-Pacific link and beyond that, to expand the communications capabilities of Chile and neighbouring countries. We look forward to working with Desarrollo País in building this critical infrastructure project, which will enhance the digital economies of Latin America and APAC.”
The Undersecretary of Telecommunications, Francisco Moreno, indicated that “the choice of a strategic partner for the Humboldt project is a key step for the rollout of the first submarine fiber optic cable that will connect Asia and Oceania with Latin America through Chile. In this way, we are getting closer to the opportunity that the deployment of this enormous network of more than 14 thousand kilometers represents, which will consolidate Chile as a Digital Hub for the region and which will significantly strengthen the digital ecosystem and our 4.0 economy”.
According to Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, Gloria Hutt, “the Humboldt cable is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious projects of the last decades. This is a strategic investment that prepares us for the demands of the digital revolution and offers enormous opportunities for the development of an industry with a big potential for our country. We are confident that through this project we will expand our competitive advantages and further promote the interest to invest in Chile. Along this path we will be able to expand the development of digital solutions such as Data Centers, Big Data and Machine Learning, which will bring multiple economic benefits that will have a direct impact on the quality of life of Chileans”.
About Fondo de Infraestructura S.A.
Fondo de Infraestructura S.A. (Desarrollo País) is a State-owned entity incorporated in 2018. Its shareholders are the State of Chile (Fisco – 99.964%) and the Chilean Economic Development Agency (CORFO – 0.036%). Desarrollo País is governed by Law 21082 and is subject to the rules of state-owned corporations. Its mandate is to develop financing and investing activities related to infrastructure projects. The company formally began operations on 4 January 2019. For more information, visit www.desarrollopais.cl.
About H2 Cable LP
H2 Cable LP, headquartered in Singapore, is a subsidiary of BW Digital, an affiliate of global maritime conglomerate BW Group. In July 2021, BW Digital announced the acquisition of 100 per cent of the shares of submarine cable company Hawaiki. The transaction is subject only to applicable regulatory filings and approvals, which are expected to be completed by early 2022.
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