In September 2011 Boskalis was awarded a contract worth approximately EUR 30 million to provide and install a submarine fiber optic cable across the Strait of Magellan, Argentina. The contract was awarded by the state-owned corporation AR-SAT (Empresa Argentina de Soluciones Satelitales S.A.).
The fiber optic cable, which will be used for internet and digital television, will connect the city of Rio Gallegos in the province of Santa Cruz with the city of Rio Grande in the province of Tierra del Fuego. The length of the submarine fiber optic cable is approximately 40 kilometers. The water depth (up to 70 meters), strong currents and high tidal conditions make for a challenging operating environment. Boskalis will execute this project together with subcontractor Alcatel Lucent. A large trailing suction hopper dredger and a seagoing cable-laying vessel will be deployed for this turnkey project. The cable will be trenched, using both a jetting sledge and a plough. Dredging will be required for some parts of the seabed where the soil is too hard to use a jetting sledge. Boskalis will also be responsible for the shore approaches on both sides, as well as installing about 60 km of land cable on the mainland of Argentina and on Tierra del Fuego. Work on the project is expected to commence shortly and last for a total of approximately eight months. The Boskalis strategy is designed to benefit from the key macro-economic drivers that are fueling global demand in our selected markets: global trade, increasing energy consumption, expanding population pressures and the challenges of changing climate conditions.