“Polar Express” fiber optic cable ‘Made in Murmansk’. | Polarjournal
Production is already running at full speed at the new JSC plant. (Foto: gov-murman.ru)

On August 2, 2021, the Governor of Murmansk Region Andrey Chibis attended the opening of the JSC “Office of Advanced Technologies” cable plant in Murmansk. The main function of the company is the production of fiber optic cables for the project of construction of the trans-Arctic communication line from Murmansk to Vladivostok, which will be laid along the coast on the seabed. Six pairs of fibre optic cables with a bandwidth of 104 Tb/s are to be laid over a distance of 12,650 kilometres. The starting point of the project will be Teriberka on the Kola Peninsula and will pass through Amderma, Dikson, Tiksi, Pevek, Anadyr, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk before the cable reaches Vladivostok.

The Murmansk plant will manufacture the fiber optic cables for the entire extension to Vladivostok. For this project 300 new jobs were created. (Foto: gov-murman.ru)

“Polar Express” is a unique project for the Arctic, the whole world and our country. And, of course, it is great that today in Murmansk the production of such a special cable has started. The project itself includes more than 12,500 km of fiber optic cables, which will enable communication between Murmansk and Vladivostok. I would like to thank my colleagues for organizing this work,” said Andrey Chibis.

Among other things, 300 additional high-tech jobs were created at the new plant in Murmansk.

According to the General Director of JSC Aleksey Strelchenko, the project “Polar Express” involves the laying of 12,650 km of cable from six pairs of optical fibers with a bandwidth of up to 104 Tb/s. (Foto: gov-murman.ru)

“At the moment we plan to lay the first stage of the cable – that is about 150 km per month, accordingly, about 2,000 km per year. After that, we want to reach 3,000 km of cable per year,” said Alexey Strelchenko, the general director of JSC.

An entire fleet of cable, support and research vessels will be deployed for the installation. In order to avoid external damage along the northern coast of Siberia, the cable will be laid 1.5 metres below the seabed in places. The construction period for the implementation of the “Polar Express” project will last until 2026.

The fibre-optic cable will be laid over a distance of 12,650 kilometres from Teriberka to Vladivostok and is scheduled to be put into operation along its entire length from 2026. (Graphic: Heiner Kubny)

It should be noted that the shortest fibre link between Europe and Asia will be an alternative to satellite communications in northern latitudes. It provides reliable and cost-effective communications and high-speed Internet in the Russian Arctic, especially in the remote regions along the Northeast Passage. “Polar Express” is to provide the digital component of the development of the North Sea Route, its port infrastructure, and oil and gas and environmental projects in the Arctic.

Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal

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