As one of the world’s leading players in this field, Orange is expanding its investment in the submarine cable industry to remain at the cutting edge of cable laying and maintenance technologies.
Building a new cable ship represents a larger investment than the conversion of an existing vessel but means that Orange benefits from a ship with a minimal environmental footprint that is fully-equipped to meet growing global connectivity needs.
The Sophie Germain is 100 meters long and includes:
• A hull designed and tested in a model tank to reduce fuel consumption, and that is optimized for cable repairs.
• A state-of-the-art 450 kW ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) used to cut, inspect and bury cables, stored on board in a dedicated hangar. The ROV was designed and built in-house by Orange Marine.
• The ability to be connected to an onshore power supply, which will enable it to reduce its carbon emissions when docked.
• “CLEANSHIP” classification (controlled detection of refrigerant gas leaks, special anti-fouling coating, large waste storage capacity, etc.)
• A small environmental footprint, allowing a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions and an 82% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions.
All of these characteristics have been specifically defined by Orange Marine on the basis of its extensive experience in submarine cable operations.
Orange’s central role in the global submarine cable industry
99% of intercontinental telephone communications and data transfers pass through submarine cables. 486 submarine cables currently traverse the oceans, measuring a total length of 1.3 million kilometers – or 33 times around the Earth.
The Group will continue to play a major role in this field. Orange is one of the few operators to master end-to-end connectivity. The Group invests, deploys and operates across the globe. Orange’s submarine cable businesses are a flagship activity that contribute to the excellence of its networks, guaranteeing optimal, uninterrupted connectivity across the world.
At the end of 2022, Orange Marine’s ships had installed over 257,000 kilometers of fiber-optic submarine cables, and had carried out over 800 repairs, some at depths of over 6,000 meters.
Christel Heydemann, CEO of Orange, said: “It is with great pride that we inaugurate today the Sophie Germain, a new generation cable ship. Through this launch, the Orange group reaffirms its central role in the laying and maintenance of submarine cables, a little-known industry and yet an essential base for the development of connectivity around the world. 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.”