E-marine successfully completes challenging cable repair in Arabian Sea

E-marine successfully completes challenging cable repair in Arabian SeaTechnical team battles adverse weather conditions to restore service

to FEA network

E-marine, the principal provider of submarine cable installation and repair solutions in the Middle East region, has successfully completed a challenging cable repair in the Arabian Sea, despite battling with severe weather conditions to restore service to the FLAG Europe-Asia (FEA) network on behalf of Reliance Globalcom Limited.

The FLAG-FEA cable network provides a vital telecommunications link to the markets of Western Europe and Japan through the Middle East, India, Southeast Asia and China, but local services became impacted recently after a suspected repeater failure on the branch to Fujairah, in the United Arab Emirates.

Cable owners, Reliance Globalcom Limited, engaged E-marine to replace the repeater which required attending to a malfunctioning branching unit in the Arabian Sea. E-marine immediately deployed its largest cable ship, Niwa, which set sail from Sharjah, UAE, with a highly skilled crew and technical staff on board to fix the fault.

The E-marine crew battled through extremely severe weather during monsoon season, with winds almost always above 35 knots, and sea swells above 20 to 35 feet, which was well above the normal range of 8 to 12 feet. Despite the difficult conditions, the crew completed the operation with less than 20 hours downtime, reducing any impact to local services.

The repair was carried out in water approximately 4,000 metres deep and during the recovery, the damaged cable parted at the joint between the main high tension cable and the branching unit. Further investigation by E-marine and the on board Reliance Globalcom representative revealed previous damage to the joint and was very likely the cause of the original cable fault.

During the entire repair Reliance Globalcom network services on the cable remained operational on alternate routes.

Brad Kneller, Vice President at Reliance Globalcom Limited, said: “The level of determination and desire by E-marine to complete the work was extraordinary. E-marine’s assigned cable ship and on-board crew worked in extreme weather conditions for the duration of the repair. The damaged cable was quickly recovered and new cable, repeater and branching unit spliced in, tested and re-laid successfully thanks to close coordination between the ship’s crew and the Reliance Globalcom on-shore support teams.

“In total the repair took approximately 40 days to complete. Had E-marine management not been fully supportive of the operation being undertaken during the monsoon season, the repair could easily have taken a further 30-60 days, waiting for suitable weather windows in which to undertake the work. This was a terrific effort in very difficult conditions and a truly outstanding accomplishment,” added Kneller.

Omar Jassim Bin Kalban, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of E-marine said: “Damage to submarine cables and their capability can impact not just the areas they are located, but the entire world. Whole countries and their economies can be hugely impacted by subsea cable damages, which could lead to a loss of regional network transmission. This is why repairing and maintaining submarine cables both efficiently and economically is so vital for our customers.

“With strategic bases in the UAE and Oman, and expansion planned for East Africa, we are positioning E-marine to provide a faster and more wide reaching service to cable owners through reduced transit times and closer proximity to cable systems. E-marine would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our partners for their collaboration and support during the outage to get the cable repaired in the fastest time possible”, added Bin Kalban.

With over 25 years of experience, E-marine has become the growth driver for regional telecommunication business. With the regional availability and expertise coupled with skilled resources, E-marine’s vision is to encompass high-end technology and become an essential player in the submarine cable industry.

FEA comes ashore at 20 operational landings in 13 countries and since its operation in 1997 FEA has a proven record of reliable operational service, and has attracted a customer base of over 100 international carriers and ISPs.

The recent growth in cable capacity in the Middle East region heralds a new era of connectivity for the continent and will bring greater bandwidth, faster and more advanced services and more reliable connectivity, but also results in more cables needing repair and maintenance.

#Arabian Sea# cable repair# E-marine# FEA network