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Work on multi million dollar Cable Depot begins in Samoa

 Samoa PM and helping hands haul submarine cable ashore [Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia]

More job opportunities are expected in Samoa after the setting up of a new depot to service 19 submarine cable systems in the region.

A ground breaking ceremony has been held to kick off construction works for TE SubCom's depot on the main wharf at Apia.

The Prime Minister, Tuila'epa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi said the international undersea communication technology firm has set up in Samoa because of many benefits provided including political stability.

In a speech at the ceremony he outlined some of the benefits for Samoa.

"The creation of jobs for Samoan staff at the depot, additional employment for stevedoring companies supporting the cable ships," Tuilaepa said.

"When the cable ships are berthed in harbour economic stimulus to the local businesses by the 60 crew purchasing good and services."

The new depot, which costs  US$2 million, is a joint venture between the U.S. based company, TE SubCom, and the Samoa Submarine Cable Company (S.S.C.C.). 

Tuilaepa said this was a significant achievement for Samoa, especially with the Government’s plans of making Samoa the hub of telecommunications in the Pacific region. 

“Two weeks ago we experienced a very significant milestone, when we launched Samoa’s very own submarine cable, the Tui Samoa,” he said. 

“At the time I spoke explicitly about Samoa’s aspirations to play a more proactive role to interconnect through I.T. with all the Polynesian nations within the Polynesian Leaders Group in the Pacific, especially connections through other regional submarine cables in the pipeline, most notably the Manatua cable linking Tahiti, Cook Islands, Niue and possibly Tonga to Samoa. 

“And Samoa should take the initiative, which means unavoidably the hub should be Samoa.”

He explained the partnership also signifies the success of the Government’s policy to encourage foreign investors to invest in Samoa. 

“The benefits of the Cable to Samoa include and are not limited to increased revenue for Samoa Ports Authority through port charges for a minimum of 150 berthing days per annum, the creation of jobs for Samoa staff and additional employment, the employment of Samoa’s certified engineers to undertake the submarine cable with care and maintenance activities, not to mention the significant impact on our restaurants, bars, hotels airline, taxi owners,” the Prime Minister said.

Read more at Samoa Observer

RNZI contributed to this report.