Client: Governments of Kiribati, Nauru and Kosrae State – World Bank
Industry: Communications – Regional fibre optic cable
Services: Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and Management Plans
The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is comprised of more than 600 islands and atolls spanning across almost 3000 Km of the tropical Pacific Ocean; comprising four states of Pohnpei, Kosrae, Chuuk and Yap. FSM has slow and expensive telephone and internet connectivity, affecting all public and private services, including education and health, limiting access to international markets and affecting social connection among its rural and urban population. A proposed fibre optic project will facilitate faster and reliable internet connectivity within FSM and to the rest of the world. The project is funded by the World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Cables will be placed along the seafloor, with deep sea sections resting on the seabed, and sections inside the 40m contour (approximation), buried about 0.75m below the seabed. The cables will be brought to shore by following existing shipping channel routes and landing at low ecological impact areas, thereby minimally interfering with coastal ecology.
ARGO was commissioned to prepare Environmental and Social Impact Assessments and Environmental and Social Management Plans in relation to the fibre optic project. In addition, given the impacts of anticipated sea level rises it was necessary to implement coastal erosion protection works at the cable landing site. ARGO was commissioned in 2017 to undertake site investigations on Chuuk and develop a design for protection works. The project was completed on time and within budget in October 2017.