NextGen Perth GM Malcolm Roe, NextGen CEO Peter McGrath and State Government Minister Bill Marmion. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian.
NextGen Perth GM Malcolm Roe, NextGen CEO Peter McGrath and State Government Minister Bill Marmion. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian.

One of the three companies in a race to build a subsea fibre-optic cable from Perth to Singapore says it is only months away from a final decision on the project.

Speaking after the official opening of a data centre built to service the cable, Nextgen chief executive Peter McGrath said the company was "extremely confident" about the viability of the Perth-to-Singapore project after it received all its permits in January.

Mr McGrath said Nextgen, which is 30 per cent owned by Leighton Holdings, was now finalising the logistics behind the route, which was "pretty much done now".

He said Nextgen needed to finalise its anchor tenant support and funding before asking its board for final approval for the cable proposal.

"It'll definitely be at some point this year, and I would hope some point early this year," Mr McGrath said.

"It's taken us time and money (and) we did have some delays as a result of the permitting . . . but it'll be Australia's most significant cable when it is completed."

Nextgen, through its subsidiary Australia Singapore Cable, is competing with Trident Subsea Cable and Bevan Slattery-backed SubPartners in a race to build the cable.

Only one is likely to be feasible.

Trident is proposing a $400 million, 7000km multi-faceted cable on land, as well as under water, to service the internet-poor Pilbara and Perth, Jakarta and Singapore. SubPartners is hoping to build a $US180 million to $US200 million cable by June next year.

Speaking at the Shenton Park data centre opening yesterday, Mr McGrath said the cable, which would hit land near City Beach, would be a selling point for the data centre.

"Perth is different to the rest of the country, because (oil and gas developments are drawing in) a lot of big multinationals and they require stand up IT infrastructure very quickly.

The West Australian

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