Onshore LNG project in East Africa deploys Marlink’s multi-orbit VSAT solution for secure communications

Friday 7, May 2021

A multinational oil and gas company, one of the seven supermajors in the world, has selected Marlink to provide a managed satellite network solution for their onshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) site in Mozambique, East Africa. A complex MEO O3b and GEO VSAT solution was designed and deployed in record time to enable fibre-like speed and low latency communications for the development of the first onshore LNG plant in the country.

The Challenge

Following the discovery of important quantities of natural gas in Mozambique, the multinational oil and gas company was positioned to lead the development of the first LNG plant in the area, to be delivered in 2024.

For the construction phase, the company was searching for a network solutions provider to maintain the onshore site’s Internet connection for very high volumes of traffic such as access to corporate business applications and welfare services.

The oil major needed a quick deployment of a high-speed network without being worried about the stability, reliability, and security. Given the local limitations of such a remote and emerging area like Mozambique, the company wanted a complementary link to the existing fibre that could not suffer from local outages.

The Solution

To meet the oil and gas company’s requirements, Marlink provided a complex managed satcom solution in cooperation with a local engineering and construction partner, TRI-M Mecano Metal de Moçambique. The onshore LNG site was equipped with MEO O3b connectivity and GEO VSAT back-up services, all seamlessly backhauled via Marlink’s global backbone to stay connected with the headquarters in Europe.

Managed satellite network

With Marlink’s leading position in design, delivery, and management of smart network solutions, we provided a complete turnkey solution: site surveys, hardware, installation and configuration, bandwidth commissioning, IT services and network management including proactive real-time monitoring. Finally, the solution is underpinned by on-site support and maintenance carried out by local certified field engineers.

O3b Technology & GEO Service on Newtec Dialog

The solution provides a 200 Mbps primary link using the O3b technology from SES Networks. Three motorised VSAT stations are deployed in Ka-band operated on SES’ Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite constellation. In addition, a 75 Mbps back-up link in C-band is in place with automatic failover between O3b and GEO networks. The GEO back-up link makes use of the Newtec Dialog platform with BoD features and QoS for improved service availability.

Fibre from the Sky

With round-trip latencies around 150 milliseconds, the performance of O3b networks is equivalent to standard fibre connections while also providing greater reach and faster deployment times. Matching the speed of fibre, the solution delivers exceptional connectivity performance for high-quality Internet experience and improved use of business collaboration tools.

Key Achievements

Marlink helped the oil major fulfil its objectives through:

  • One single network solutions provider to design and operate a fully managed satellite network to ensure operational continuity
  • Provision of fibre-like speed and low latency satellite connectivity underpinned by a high end-to-end SLA
  • Always-on MEO O3b solution with load balancing between O3b and existing fibre for enhanced Quality of Experience
  • Redundancy for continuous traffic flow with GEO VSAT back-up services. Out-of-Band Access for remote monitoring at any time
  • Quick deployment of satellite links compared to heavy fibre civil work in Africa
  • Licensing managed by Marlink
  • Delivery in record time

Marlink – O3b Value-Added Reseller

Marlink and SES Networks extended their partnership on Enterprise services when Marlink was appointed to be one of SES’s five O3b resellers in 2018. The contract enables Marlink to offer Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellite connectivity as part of its Enterprise portfolio, as a complement to geostationary (GEO) services. The O3b solution enables high throughput and low-latency services ideally designed for high volumes of traffic and big data applications that require fibre-like performance.

The Oil Major’s Feedback

Being our VSAT partner for several years, it was evident to discuss new complex projects with Marlink.  With their ability to design and operate full turnkey network solutions being our unique network partner was decisive to us. The new 03b and GEO VSAT solution offered us the needed fibre-like connectivity performance and Marlink’s managed network services underpinned the promise to assure optimal operational performance. After a successful implementation in H2 2020, Marlink’s commitment has been fully fulfilled.

About the Oil Major

Headquartered in Europe, the oil and gas company is a major energy player which produces and markets fuels, natural gas, and low-carbon electricity. Active in 130+ countries with 100,000 employees, the oil major operates along the entire energy value chain, from the exploration wells to the end client. The company is committed to better energy that is safer, more affordable, cleaner, and accessible to as many people as possible. As a pioneer in LNG, the company is a world leader in this resource.