The companies leading the bidding consortia – Tyco and Lucent Technologies, both of the US, Japan’s Fujitsu, Germany’s Siemens and Alcatel of France – are preparing to attend a bidders meeting in Singapore in early October. This will be followed by a second meeting in Kuala Lumpur in November when the successful bidder is expected to be announced.

Procurement of the cable comprises the bulk of the estimated $750 million project costs. About 90 per cent of the financing has been pledged by client governments to date, with the remainder expected to come from Algeria, Tunisia and Thailand when they join the project in October.