Once again, it is time to reflect on 2006 as we look forward to another successful year ahead at Global Marine. 2006 was undoubtedly a year of significant progress and growth for us, with major milestones achieved in all aspects of our business.
Whilst we continued to build our core business of cable maintenance and installation in telecommunications, we also focused on diversification into new markets - in addition, we increased our presence in the renewable energy sector and expanded our work in the field of scientific research. We set out our strategy at Pacific Telecommunications Council in Hawaii January 2006 when we talked about aligning our business operations to meet current market needs. This strategy was borne out in our continued business diversification during the year and will be critical to ensuring our future business success. So let's time to review the major highlights of last year.
Technological innovation and growth played a big part in 2006, with our acquisition of the assets of submarine network company, Red Sky technologies setting the year off to a flying start in January. Our goal is to make the submarine network industry more efficient and accessible for cable owners and equipment suppliers around the world and this acquisition marked a major step forward in helping our vision to become a reality.
Red Sky technology represents a very advanced approach to combining undersea and terrestrial networks, resulting in a greatly simplified, more flexible and more cost effective alternative to legacy subsea systems. Based upon the latest developments in optical engineering, the solution truly offers something new to operators looking to build regional or specialist networks offering a more cost efficient and uncomplicated means of running or upgrading their networks than ever before. It will also make it easier for them to install submarine networks in new regions around the world.
In March 2006, we launched version 5.2 of our GeoCable marine engineering software package which makes the management of cable route planning, installation and maintenance operations easier for our customers. The world's oceans are reaching cable saturation point, so for the industry to continue to thrive, cable operators need detailed information about where cables can be laid. Comprising over 1.9 million kilometres of cable route data and 3000 hydrographic charts, version 5.2 enables customers to view information based upon a specific area or look at issues such as seismic activity and to gain statistical analysis on a particular type of subsea cable. This information can help our customers carefully plan and execute cable installation and maintenance in the most efficient and cost effective manner for their business.
In 2006, we made major strides ahead working with our joint venture partners resulting in several new significant contracts around the world. Working with our partners, NTT World Engineering Marine (NTTWEM) and S.B Submarine Systems (SBSS), we successfully completed the cable installation of segment 2 of the Jasuka project in Indonesia. In July, working with SBSS, we won a cable installation contract for Saipem SpA, a leading offshore engineering company. The contract will enable power and remote communication to be supplied to two new gas production platforms off the coast of Papua, in Bintuni Bay.
We developed our work in the field of scientific research and together with NTTWE Marine, we successfully completed the repair of a Tsunami seismic monitoring cable for the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology in May. More recently, in November, we helped with the successful installation of South Korea’s first deep sea Ocean observatory system for the Korea Meteorological Administration. The observatory will detect levels of seismic activity in the region and will ultimately help provide advance warnings of Tsunamis.
2006 saw several new members join our Guardian private cable maintenance programme, reflecting the high levels of service that we deliver to our customers. TDC, the leading provider of communications solutions in Denmark, and Rostelecom, Russia’s national long-distance telecommunications operator both joined the programme in April. We were also delighted when Hibernia Atlantic who originally joined the programme in 2003, renewed its contract with us in June, and the new contract will be in place until 2009.
The renewable energy sector in 2006 offered us exciting opportunities last year. In July, we partnered Talisman Energy (UK) Limited, Scottish & Southern Energy and the Department of Trade and Industry on a landmark offshore wind farm project - the Beatrice Wind Farm Demonstrator Project. This flagship project for offshore wind energy saw the installation of two wind turbines 25km off the east coast of Scotland which tested the viability of Beatrice Oil field as a future site for a commercial deep water wind farm. On completion, we moved directly onto a power cable installation project between Finland and Estonia for ABB, a global leader in power and automation technologies, as part of the Estlink project1. Estlink will supply the Nordic electricity market with electricity generated in the Baltics and create a competitive power market between the two regions. Case studies on both these projects are available to download from http://www.globalmarinesystems.com/com_cs_index.asp.
We rounded off the year by showcasing our Oil & Gas Communications Capabilities at Offshore Communications Conference, Houston in November 2006 – this was a successful conference and we hope to return next year with a bigger story to tell.
One of the greatest highlights of 2006 major without doubt is our new partnership with Huawei technologies in China. The combination of Huawei’s optical solutions and Global Marine’s subsea repeaters and submarine engineering will give submarine network developers and operators a strong alternative that does not compromise capability, security or quality. Such a partnership has the potential to transform the submarine cable networking industry beyond recognition in terms offering the market a new generation of end-to-end submarine networking solutions at a lower cost than traditional submarine networks. Global Marine has led the way in shaking up the industry over the past two years and this partnership will enable us to truly expand our business and help the industry evolve.
2007 is set to be another exciting year for Global Marine as we further expand our business and continue to progress into new markets and regions.
May I take this opportunity to thank you for all your hard work and continued support, without which, none of this would have been possible. Here’s to another successful year ahead.
Global Marine Systems Limited