Survey ship Professor Logachev exploring underwater route for trans-Arctic cable. Photo: Rosgeo

Developers of trans-Arctic cable draw closer to Nordic coast

The unprecedented low levels of Arctic sea-ice this summer enabled survey ship Professor Logachev to smoothly study vast areas of seabed as part of the Arctic Connect project.
November 11, 2020

The ship operated by state geological exploration company Rosgeo one of the first days of November arrived in Vladivostok after a 105 day voyage across the Northern Sea Route.

During the 16,000 km long voyage from St.Petersburg, researchers conducted comprehensive mapping of the Arctic seabed, areas where a projected fiber cable will be laid.

 

The Professor Logachev. Photo: rosgeo

Icy waters

Surveys were conducted in the Barents Sea, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, East-Siberian Sea, Chukotka Sea and Bering Sea, General Director of Rosgeo Sergey Gorkov says. Sea-ice conditions were favorable, and the whole voyage was made without icebreaker assistance, Rosgeo informs.

The seabed mapping will be continued in 2021

Exploring routes

The Professor Logachev was hired by Russian telecom company MegaFon, following an agreement signed in July this year. It is part of the Arctic Connect, a project managed by Megafon together with Finnish company Cinia.

On board the vessel is some of Russia’s best equipment and expertise on underwater surveys. The findings will be crucial for the future of the project that is to lead to the laying of a cable across the Northern Sea Route between Asia and Europe.

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The cable is planned to stretch from China and Japan to the Norwegian town of Kirkenes and Russia’s Murmansk. Underway will be several landing stations, including in Alaska and Arctic Russia.

Finnish initiative

The Arctic Connect has been lobbied by Finnish authorities and was highlighted in a government report authored by former Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen in 2016.

The cable will have a transmission capacity of 200 Tb/s, MegaFon informs

The project is believed to cost up to €1.2 billion, and a tender on construction works is due to be announced in course of 2021.

Finland - Asia data cable via the Arctic. Map: Google Earth

 

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