The authority responsible for natural resources, safety and maritime services (DGRM) has granted the Certificate of Private Use of Maritime Space (TUPEM) for the promoter of the EllaLink undersea cable to proceed with the connection between Sines (Setúbal) and Morocco.
In a statement, DGRM explains that the permit, awarded under decree-law 38/2015, allows the developer of the EllaLink cable to “start installing a connection to Morocco” from the main infrastructure connecting Sines to Brazil.
With a 25-year concession scheme, TUPEM includes, in the Portuguese sea, “a deployment area of the undersea optical cable of 2,338 square metres and a protection area of 116,238 square metres,” the statement said.
According to DGRM, the project consists of the installation of a branch of international undersea cable that will provide a connection to Casablanca (Morocco).
This branch will be “around 420 kilometres long, via a two fibre pair cable with a bandwidth of 50 Terabits per second,” it added.
Work to install the new undersea fibre optic cable “is at an advanced stage of preparation”, DGRM said, pointing to “January” for the start of the work, with entry into operation “in the first half of 2022”.
“With this further step, the promoter fulfils its planning for the important EllaLink low latency data link project, which is already operating between Sines and Fortaleza (Brazil) and with a branch to Madeira Island,” it adds.
With this, Portugal is extending “the interconnection network to different geographies,” such as “North Africa,” it said.
For DGRM, the “importance of Portugal’s connection, through a growing network of latest-generation data cables, is fundamental in positioning the country in the data economy, a matter that has been a priority in government action.
The EllaLink project includes the first direct connection between Europe and Brazil, through an ultra broadband cable, six thousand kilometres long, at an investment of €150 million.