Google Begins Docking Firmina Submarine Cable in Brazil

Google Firmina submarine cable docking begins in Praia Grande, Brazil, set to complete in the next 10 days.By
November 17, 2023

Google started the deployment and docking of its Firmina submarine cable at the system’s Brazilian landing station, located in Praia Grande city.

Works began November 17 and are expected to last 10 days depending on weather conditions, according to information from the Praia Grande municipality.

The installation will be carried out by six vessels, in addition to divers, machines and workers on land, in the sand strip, city authorities said.

Firmina will run 14,000km from Myrtle Beach (US) to Las Toninas (Argentina), with landing points in Brazil (Praia Grande) and Uruguay (Punta del Este).

As reported by BNamericas, São Paulo state environmental review agency Cetesb granted Google an environmental permit related to fuel handling at Praia Grande’s landing station in August.

“This environmental license is related to power feeding equipment (PFE) operations for our submarine cables. The license is required for the responsible handling of diesel oil used in the unit's generators,” Google confirmed to BNamericas on the occasion.

The company also secured two key permits by Brazil’s environmental watchdog Ibama related to the project.

The company first obtained a preliminary environmental license for Firmina from Ibama in January, according to the watchdog's database. This license is valid through January 24, 2025, BNamericas has learned.

A second permit, the installation license, was obtained on April 26 and is valid through April 2027.

A third and fundamental permit is still pending: the operating license, which is usually valid for 10 years.

Google has an operating permit for two other submarine cables that are active in Brazil: for the Junior cable (valid through April 2028), connecting the coasts of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and for Tannat (valid through May 2028), which connects Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina.

Tannat is a partnership between Telxius, Google and Uruguayan state telco Antel.

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