New Orange Marine Vessel Dubbed C/S Sophie Germain

This ship will be built by the shipyard Colombo Dockyard, assisted by the Norwegian company Vard, should be commissioned in H1 2023.Orange Marine Press Release
June 15, 2021

Orange Marine – a subsidiary of the Orange group – announced the construction of a new cable ship at the end of last year, a vessel which is modern, efficient and has a small environmental footprint.

The name of the future cable ship has just been announced: it will be called the C/S Sophie Germain, in tribute to the French mathematician, physician, and philosopher, and expert in number theory. A self-taught pioneer, she was the first woman to receive the Mathematical Sciences Grand Prize from the French Academy of Sciences in 1816.

Another woman will be honored to support the C/S Sophie Germain in its future missions. Elizabeth Tchoungui – Group Executive Director of Corporate Social Responsibility and Deputy Chair of the Orange Foundation – has agreed to be the official sponsor of this new vessel, an ambassadorial role steeped in maritime tradition.

This new ship will be the first vessel of its generation designed specifically to repair submarine cables, whether optical fiber telecommunications cables or power cables connected to offshore wind farms. It will be cutting-edge and equipped with modern and efficient equipment, and it has been designed to reduce its environmental footprint by 20% for CO2 emissions and 80% for nitrogen oxide emissions compared to the Raymond Croze, the cable ship which it will replace in the Orange Marine fleet.

Didier Dillard, CEO of Orange Marine: “We chose the name Sophie Germain for our new vessel to continue the tradition of giving the names of French scientists to our cable ships. Along with Orange Marine staff, we wanted to recognize one of our eminent female French scientists when launching our new ship.”

Jean-Luc Vuillemin, Head of International Networks and Services at Orange and Chair of the Orange Marine supervisory committee: “For Orange, refreshing its fleet by building this new cable ship is a meaningful gesture reflecting its dedication and the importance of laying and repairing submarine cables. It is part of a strategy to develop its position as a leader on the international networks market in general, and submarine cables in particular. By choosing the name Sophie Germain for our new vessel, we can anchor the Group’s historic activity in maritime traditions, while honoring a female scientist to sail the seas worldwide.”

Elizabeth Tchoungui, Group Executive Director of Corporate Social Responsibility: “This future ship will be more energy efficient and demonstrates that our commitment to the environment has no borders, whether on land or at sea.”

This ship will be built by the shipyard Colombo Dockyard, assisted by the Norwegian company Vard, which specializes in designing special vessels. The first sheet – step one in building this vessel – has already been cut (see photos). The new ship should be commissioned in H1 2023.

About Orange Marine 
Orange Marine’s history dates back to the late 19th century and the cable ships operated by the French Ministry of Postal Services and Telecommunications. Orange Marine became a subsidiary wholly owned by the Orange group in 1999. In 2010, Orange acquired Elettra, a Telecom Italia subsidiary.
Orange Marine and Elettra specialize in submarine cables, from designing, engineering and routing new paths, to laying new cables and repairing them at sea if faulty. Orange Marine and Elettra represent 15% of the submarine cable laying and repair market. Their cable ships have laid over 220,000 km of optical fiber cables worldwide, and carried out around 600 repairs, some at a depth of over 6,000 meters.