Prysmian to Bid for New Stretches of Amazon Sub-Fluvial Fiber Backbone

Prysmian will bid for new stretches of Brazil's Norte Conectado project of underwater fiber backbone in the Amazon basin. By Bnamericas
March 24, 2023

Italian fiber and optical equipment manufacturer Prysmian will bid for new stretches of Brazil's Norte Conectado project of underwater fiber backbone in the Amazon basin.

The information was provided by the company’s LatAm telecoms VP, Marcelo Andrade, in response to a question from BNamericas at a press conference.

Prysmian was the supplier for the projects’ first stretch, dubbed Infovia 00, but for the following contracts it lost out to Chinese suppliers Hengtong and ZTT International Submarine Cable & System.

Hengtong won the contract for Infovia 01, while ZTT will supply the infrastructure for Infovias 0203 and 04.

In total, Norte Conectado is designed to have eight stretches totaling 12,000km of fiber backbone reaching 59 locations.

“Yes, we are preparing to bid for the other projects. The Chinese won mostly due to delivery times and commercial conditions, for which we always strive to be as fair and equal for all players,” Andrade said on Thursday.

In the Brazilian energy sector, Prysmian is a supplier of umbilicals for national oil company Petrobras' offshore operations, whose equipment it manufactures at Vila Velha, in Espírito Santo state.

Umbilicals link surface and seafloor oil and gas equipment for controls, power or heat.

Last month, the company was one of three bidders in a new Petrobras tender for such equipment.


In an interview with BNamericas last month, Prysmian's Latin America CEO, Alejandro Quiroz, criticized what he saw as Chinese dumping in the region’s cable and optical market.

The executive also conditioned further expansions of production capacity in Latin America to proper “commercial dynamics.”

As an example Quiroz cited Europe, which imposed anti-dumping measures against Chinese players, who are now targeting Latin America in force as their European growth prospects have been reduced.

The US government, for its part, has increased import taxes on Chinese fiber and cabling equipment.

“Chinese manufacturers continue to put a lot of pressure on the market. And what Prysmian asks of the government, what we defend, is that the same rule applies to both sides,” Andrade said in the Thursday's press conference.

According to the executive, Chinese players continue to gain market share in Brazil and other Latin American countries thanks to export subsidies and other types of support from China’s government.

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