Hawaiki Submarine Cable has appointed French bank Natixis to help it secure the remaining equity required to fund the project.
The proposed trans-Pacific cable, linking New Zealand and Australia to the United States and connecting a number of South Pacific Islands and Hawaii, will compete with the Southern Cross Cable and bolster international capacity for New Zealand.
Jean-Pierre Geremy, Naztix head of telecom, structured and asset finance, says Natixis, which has been appointed as exclusive equity advisor, has ‘significant’ expertise in project financing and telecom infrastructure.
Rémi Galasso, Hawaiki Submarine Cable chief executive, says the appointment will ‘help us crossing the finish line’.
The company says the completion of the financing will allow project implementation to begin late this year. Hawaiki says it is still planning for an end of 2017 completion of the cable, which has capacity of more than 25Tbps.
Galasso says the project is progressing according to plan and has already started the permitting process in view of the forthcoming completion of the financing.
“We have our carrier licence in Australia and the network operator status in New Zealand,” Galasso says. “Next step is to engage with the US authorities for our landings in Hawaii and Oregon.”
Hawaiki announced its intentions to build the new cable back in 2013 and quickly signed letters of intent to acquire international bandwidth on the cable with a number of providers, including iiNet, Voyager and Orcon.
Crown-owned REANNZ also signed on in 2014 in an eight-figure deal funded by REANNZ and a $15 million Crown grant.
Previous attempts at a new cable have failed, including that of Pacific Fibre which failed to attract the $400 million it needed to fund its proposed cable.