By Submarine Cable News Feed

The University of Washington is soliciting Statements of Qualifications (SOQ) from qualified firms or joint ventures to provide design-build services for the design and construction of a new ocean observing system, consisting of fiber optic submarine cable and undersea nodes off the coast of Oregon. The contractor selected to provide design and construction services will provide the primary infrastructure of the Regional Scale Nodes (RSN) part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) program named the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). This Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is for potential design-build contractors or joint ventures with the capability for providing both design and construction services for the RSN Primary Infrastructure project.

The Consortium for Ocean Leadership has designated the University of Washington as the Implementing Organization (IO) for the RSN project. The RSN project will provide ocean observation capability through the instrumentation of the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate.

The Primary Infrastructure provides the high bandwidth and high power allowing continuous collection of a wide range of scientific data. This data will enable a significantly better understanding of our oceans and its importance to climate, earthquake and tsunami prediction, and the strength of the oceans species. The project includes the design and construction of the infrastructure, which will support the instrumentation over an expected life span of 25 to 30 years.

The Primary Infrastructure includes submarine cable, shore station equipment and undersea nodes for the distribution of bandwidth and power. More information is available at The Primary Infrastructure includes five (5) Nodes, and approximately 1,300 kilometers of cable and two shore station locations. Initial requirements call for 10 kilowatts of power per Primary Node and 10 Gbps of bandwidth.

Design-Build contractors desiring to submit their Statement of Qualifications for this project must demonstrate experience and qualifications as a prime contractor with appropriate experienced key personnel and facilities in the design-build of large submarine cable projects, including, but not limited to, experience in undersea fiber optic transmission, undersea fiber optic cable installation, undersea power design, and undersea sensor networks. Design-Build contractors must also have the financial strength for successfully performing a project of this size and scope, and must demonstrate their ability to meet the selection criteria outlined elsewhere in this RFQ.

The anticipated schedule for procurement, design, and construction of the project is indicated below: -Issue Request for Qualifications (RFQ) May 1, 2008 -Statements of Qualifications due (12:00 pm-Noon) June 2, 2008 -Up to 5 Finalists Selected June 30, 2008 -Issue Request for Proposals (RFP) July 2008 -Proposals Due September 2008 -Best and Final Proposals Due January 2009 -Final selection of firm and start of negotiations March 2009 -Contract Award