In an effort to bolster its dominant position in the subsea cable industry, Orange Marine has launched a revolutionary ship specifically designed for maintaining and repairing high-priority undersea cables. This project is realized by Orange Marine, a subsidiary of French telecommunication behemoth Orange.
Aptly named ‘Sophie Germain’, the vessel stretches to a formidable length of 100 meters and is equipped with an advanced 450 kW ROV (remotely operated vehicle). The ROV’s major applications lie in the seamless cutting, inspection, and safeguarding of onboard fiber optic cable.
With this state-of-the-art ship, Orange Marine opens a new chapter in the industry with notable sustainability aspects. This highly efficient technology allows for a significant reduction in fuel consumption compared to previous models and significantly cuts down emissions, achieving 20% less carbon dioxide and 82% less nitrogen oxide.
Orange CEO, Christel Heydemann, proudly announced that “It is with great pride that we inaugurate today the Sophie Germain.” In a press statement, she lauded the contribution of ‘Sophie Germain’ towards the development of global connectivity. She noted, “At the cutting-edge of technology and thanks to a reduced environmental footprint, the Sophie Germain contributes to the Group’s sustainable innovation approach to respond to the major challenges of our time”.
The proof of Orange’s stroke in the subsea cable industry is in its prolific performance. To date, its fleet of ships has installed 257,000 km of submarine fibre optic cables and has conducted over 800 repairs by the close of 2023.
The occurrence of launching new cable ships in the submarine industry is a pretty rare event. In fact, there are only about 60 cable ships worldwide capable of deploying and maintaining undersea cables. Interestingly, only five new vessels have hit the waters since 2004, and an astonishing 19 of the active ships exceed 30 years in age. With the high costs of over $100 million to develop new ships, many operators prefer remodeling and revamping older vessels as a cost-saving measure.
Before Sophie Germain’s grand reveal, Orange Marine’s latest addition to its fleet was the Pierre de Fermat, introduced in 2014.