center3, a subsidiary of stc group, on behalf of the consortium partners of EMC Subsea Cable Company Ltd (EMC Company) and Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), announced the signing of the supply contract for the construction of two subsea and terrestrial data cables (EMC West) that will connect Saudi Arabia with Europe. The second phase of the EMC System (EMC Global) that will connect Saudi Arabia with Asia is being finalised and announced soon.

The EMC cable is designed, from its inception, to realise KSA’s Vision 2030 and Greece 2.0 by transforming the KSA into a “Digital Hub” that connects Asia with Europe and Africa and positioning Greece and Cyprus as “European Union’s East Data Gateway”.

In February 2022, stc luanched “MENA Hub” initiative with an investment of US$1 billion, to establish a major digital hub for the Middle East and North Africa. Later in October 2022, stc converted “MENA Hub” initiative into center3 company, as the owner of the digital infrastructure assets owned by stc group, including data centers, submarine cables, international points of presence, and internet exchange points.

In the Greek-Saudi Business Forum on May 31, 2022, the CEO of stc MENA HUB (now center3), Fahad Alhajeri, the President and CEO of PPC, George Stasis, the CEO of CyTA, Andreas Neokleous, and the Executive Director of TTSA, Alexandros Sinkas signed the Heads of Terms regarding the obligations of each party in the implementation of the EMC project.

On July 26, 2022, Mena Hub, TTSA, PPC and Cyta signed the Shareholders' Agreement to form a joint venture for the EMC project, EMC Subsea Cable Company Ltd (EMC Company). 

The EMC project enables KSA, Greece, and Cyprus to leverage their geographic position. It delivers a much-needed new data corridor, positioning the three countries at the epicentre of a digital connectivity infrastructure, which will become a cornerstone of the digital transformation era.

Persuant to the supply contract, ASN will begin to construct EMC West, linking Haql (Saudi Arabia) with Genova (Italy) and Marseille (France), via Cyprus and Greece. The two cables – consisting of multiple Fiber Pairs - will have branches in Cyprus, Crete, and Athens. The EMC system is expected to operate in Q1 2026 (RFS date).