American company contracted for Samoan submarine cable

Samoa's Submarine Cable Company (SSCC) has signed a contract with an American company that's expected to inject millions into the local economy annually and provide local jobs.

Talamua reports the contract with TE Subcom means they will now need to build a warehouse at Matautu wharf to house the undersea communication system to service the region.

A submarine maintenance vessel will also be based there to maintain and service communication cables in the Pacific.

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Afamasaga Lepuiai Rico Tupa'i made the announcement this week saying Samoa competed with other companies for the contract.

The submarine warehouse will sell spare parts for undersea communication cables as well.

"Of course we benefit from the fees. It is a one of its kind in the Pacific and because of our central location in the Pacific Ocean; it is accessible to our Pacific neighbours," said Afamasaga.

The maintenance vessel is in New Caledonia en route to Samoa, with about 60 people mainly Philippines working on board.

"The Government aims at 50% of the crew to be our own people in the next 2-3 years," he said.

The submarine warehouse and vessel are all in line with the arrival of the Tui Samoa Cable next week and the Manatua cable expected to land in June this year.