ADB report on submarine cable system overall assessment “less than successful”


The Asian Development Bank released its report that validates the complete assessment of the Samoa Submarine Cable Project. 

The 12-page report dated 22 June 2022 says the project aimed at improving Samoa’s international broadband connectivity, which involved the development and operation of a fibre optic submarine cable system (SCS) that would link Samoa to Fiji and provide cost-effective connectivity to the rest of the world. 

In addition, the project supported the establishment of the Samoa Submarine Cable Company Limited (SSCC) and the reforms to strengthen the ICT regulatory and legal environment and facilitated investment to promote the usage of the internet for the provision of e-health services.

This report’s overall assessment, is “less than successful”.

Approved by ADB in November 2015, the project experienced implementation delays because the winning bid of $22.30 million for the SCS required further evaluation as it was lower than the estimated $38.25 million. Delays in organizing the e-health project management support team and in the decision-making to merge the Ministry of Health (MOH) with the National Health Service (NHS) also stalled the project’s implementation.

At completion, the project cost was $35.30 million 6 or 61.49% of the $57.41 million estimated at appraisal. 7 Out of the $25.00 million ADB grant, only $13.60 million was disbursed at project completion for its share in output 2 and output 4, as well as for project management and administration. 

The construction cost of the SCS generated significant savings for the five co-financiers: ADB, WB, DFAT, SSCC, and the government. 

The e-health solutions output was cancelled at the request of the government, resulting in a $5.91 million savings for ADB as it was the financier for this output.