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Wire Journal News

5/4/2022 -

Annual Meeting in Dallas to offer a return to sorely missed live gathering

On-line meetings were certainly better than no event, but it is safe say that the WAI welcomes the return to a live format for the annual meeting on Wednesday, June 8, which will honor the winners of three awards as well as present a timely keynote presentation.

The meeting element itself is brief as it is procedural, but the breakfast session will see the presentations of the Mordica Memorial Award to Anand Bhagwat, manager, quality and technology at Minova USA; the Donnellan Memorial Award to Richard Wagner, the senior vice president and COO of Insteel Industries; and the President’s Award to Joe Downes, a long-time Leggett & Platt executive who retired as senior v.p. in 2015.

The gathering will also include comments from Keynote speaker Ty Garrison, senior vice president of operations, Commercial Metals Co., whose theme feels very appropriate: “Leadership in a Volatile World.” He will discuss how the last few years have strained businesses across the globe as Covid forced companies to deal with events like virtual work, burn out, unprecedented supply chain disruptions and volatile markets. Such challenges test the leadership at every level of an organization, and are essential to master for companies to thrive.

The annual meeting will, as ever, serve as a good place for WAI members to gather.

Last modified on May 4, 2022

5/4/2022 -

The industry focus now is rightfully on Wire Expo 2022, to be held June 7-8 in Dallas, but a week after the first day there is an important meeting that is essential to Interwire 2023.

The WAI will hold the points meeting for Interwire on Wednesday, June 15, at its headquarters in Madison, Connecticut. The process determines how booths are assigned based on the WAI’s established priority point program. The Points Meeting for Interwire 2021, held March 12, 2020, saw a total of 63,650 sq ft of floor space taken by 140 exhibitors. That represented 59% of the floor space. Those results topped the same result for the 2019 Points Meeting. 

Exhibitor representatives get to pick first in order of their  accumulated points from past participation. The booths will be assigned by WAI staff. After that date, other companies wanting to exhibit can seek a booth by either going to the event website, interwire23.com, or contacting WAI Sales Director Shannon Timme.

“Interwire 2023 is obviously a ways off, but just to see us nearing one of the key organizing steps makes it feel like a step back to normalcy,” Timme said. The industry has had a lot of experience with remote contact, and while  that had to be done to continue business, it also re-affirmed the value of face-to-face discussions. It may be a ways off still, but it is good to once again see Interwire back on the calendar.”

Of note, WAI had planned to have an Industry 4.0 focus at Interwire 2021. That theme was carried over to the Virtual Conference that was later held, but the goal is to make the full in-person presentation on the show floor at Atlanta in 2023.

Last modified on May 4, 2022

5/4/2022 -

 Prysmian Group wins contract for Alaskan submarine fiber optic cable link project

The Prysmian Group reports that it has been awarded a contract from Alaska Power & Telephone Company (AP&T) to supply, install and test two submarine fiber optic cable links in southeast Alaska.

A press release said that the SEALink project, valued at nearly $20 million, is directed by AP&T’s subsidiary, AP&T Wireless (APTW). The goal is to improve

communications in southeast Alaska, bringing broadband to rural areas that are currently unserved. The SEALink project calls for a 214-mile submarine fiber optic cable from Alaska’s capital in Juneau to the Prince of Wales Island.

Under the terms of the turnkey contract, Prysmian will provide a 323-km MINISUB brand cable with 36 G.652.D FO. The cable will be produced at Prysmian’s Nordenham, Germany plant, one of the group’s three centers of excellence for submarine cable production. Delivery is scheduled for the third quarter of 2022, with provisional acceptance by end of 2022.The project is being managed by Projects BU.

“This is the second project with AP&T after the successful installation of the Lynn Channel Project in 2016,” said Hakan Ozmen, EVP Projects BU, Prysmian Group. “We are excited to be helping AP&T support the digital transition in these remote areas of Alaska.”

The project will bring high-speed broadband to the residents of Kasaan and Coffman Cove on Prince of Wales Island for the first time. It was made possible by a grant from the U.S. government’s Rural Utility Services. “We are honored to be entrusted with this prestigious contract by AP&T which underscores the trust and credibility our customers have for our products and capabilities on a worldwide basis,” said Ashutosh Bhargava, Global Business director Subsea Telecom of the Prysmian Group.

Last modified on May 4, 2022

5/4/2022 -

Rise Light & Power (Rise) and Delaware River Partners LLC (DRP) announced that they plan to work together to develop a submarine cable manufacturing facility in New Jersey “to attract an offshore cable manufacturer that would ultimately construct and operate the facility.”

A press release said that as part of its Outerbridge Renewable Connector project, “Rise is preparing to invest millions to develop a shovel-ready site for a submarine cable manufacturing facility at DRP-owned Repauno Port & Rail Terminal in Greenwich Township.” The proposed submarine cable manufacturing facility will have a footprint of approximately 30 acres, along with dock access. Upon approval of the Outerbridge Renewable Connector project, pending BPU, Rise and DRP will commence development and permitting work to make the site shovel-ready. The two companies will develop the site to be shovel-ready and collaborate to attract manufacturers for two types of subsea cables required for offshore wind farms. First are inter-array cables that connect turbines within the offshore wind farm to an offshore substation, and the second are export cables that connect the offshore substation to the onshore grid.

“This opportunity will bolster New Jersey’s leadership in offshore wind with a major investment to create good-paying jobs and become a national supply chain leader,” says Clint Plummer, CEO of Rise Light & Power. “The Outerbridge Renewable Connector will revitalize and repurpose infrastructure to meet New Jersey’s bold clean energy goals. We are excited about this partnership with Delaware River Partners.”

“We are proud to enter into a partnership with Rise Light & Power to develop New Jersey’s first submarine cable manufacturing facility,” commented Hank Alexander, DRP’s CEO. “The Repauno Port & Rail Terminal is an ideal location for this project. Conveniently situated along the Delaware River, we are accessible and fully capable of meeting the offshore wind industry’s needs.”

Of note, the Prysmian Group recently announced that it has signed a contract with the Commercial Development Company (CDC) to purchase a site in Brayton Point in Somerset, Massachusetts, which pending final approvals will be the site of a new plant to manufacture submarine power cable, an initiative that will cost an estimated $200 million. A press release said that the deal is subject to securing state construction permits as well as confirmation of the official awarding of cable contracts for the Commonwealth Wind and Park Wind City offshore wind projects.


Last modified on May 4, 2022

5/4/2022 -

Orient Cable has been awarded the Hollandse Kust West Beta export cable contract by TenneT, in consortium with Boskalis.

A press release said that the contract calls for the supply and installation of two 65-km-long export cables that will connect the planned Hollandse Kust West Beta 700 MW offshore wind farm to TenneT’s onshore grid in the Netherlands. The company will also supply a nine-km 66kV interconnector cable between the Hollandse Kust West Alpha and Hollandse Kust West Beta offshore substations.

Orient Cable is working with partner Boskalis, which will install the high-voltage cable system. The two 220kV AC cable circuits will come ashore near the existing onshore high-voltage substation at Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands. The value of this contract was described as “sizable.”

Orient Cable will design, engineer, manufacture, test and transport the 220 kV XLPE-insulated export cables and associated accessories termination works. The subsea cables will be manufactured at Orient Cable’s plant in Ningbo, China, which it notes is the world’s largest cable manufacturing facility for the high and extra-high voltage subsea cables.

The Hollandse Kust West Beta offshore windfarm is expected to enter service in 2025. The project is a part of the Dutch national roadmap to achieve a 49% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.With this project and through its client TenneT, Orient Cable is supporting the decarbonizing by making renewable energy available in the Netherlands.

Last modified on May 4, 2022

5/4/2022 -

NKT has finalized the repair of the 285 kV HVDC power cable system Kontiskan 2 that connects the power grids of Sweden and Denmark.

A press release said that NKT was awarded the repair contract after the Kontiskan 2 interconnector—operated by Svenska Kraftnät and Energinet—suffered a fault due to external impact at the end of January 2022. Roughly eight weeks after the fault occurred, the 285 kV mass impregnated (MI) HVDC power cable system was back in full operation. The actual repair operation took only 12 days. 

NKT performed the initial fault finding from shore identifying that the damage was located offshore. The damaged cable section was located 33 km from the converter station in Billdal, Sweden, after further pinpointing with a third-party vessel. NKT completed the repair operation within only 12 days after the mobilization of a third-party repair vessel. Following the operation, NKT buried the power cable at safe water depth to mitigate the risk of external impact.

 The Kontiskan 2 was energized shortly after the repair bringing the power cable connection back in full operation. The interconnector was installed in 1988 as an addition to the Kontiskan 1 from 1969 to support the exchange of energy between the Nordic countries by connecting the national power grids in Denmark and Sweden.

“Once again, we demonstrated that we are among the fastest companies in the market when it comes to offshore repairs,” the release said.

Last modified on May 4, 2022

5/4/2022 -

Wind, a Dutch subsea cable specialist, has signed a long-term cooperation agreement with Waterson Terminals to establish a new cable storage yard in Rhode Island.

A press release said that the cable storage yard, to be located at ProvPort in Providence, is expected to be fully operational by the beginning of the third quarter of this year. It added that there was also the possibility of expanding capacity into other facilities of Waterson Terminals as the business grows and more space is required. The Providence yard will provide all cable and accessories storage and handling, while the project management will be carried out from Wind’s headquarters in Alkmaar in the Netherlands.

“Waterson Terminal Services is thrilled to partner with Wind as we work to provide a high level of port logistics and stevedoring service to the US offshore wind supply chain,” said Waterson Terminal Services general manager Chris Waterson.

Wind’s clients include Prysmian, which chose it for the transport, handling and temporary storage of a ±150 km array cable for the Hollandse Kust Zuid Offshore Wind Farm.

Last modified on May 4, 2022

5/4/2022 -

U.K. metals tycoon Sanjeev Gupta has secured $125 million in new financing for Liberty Steel, a manufacturer of steel wire rod in the U.S.

In an article in The Wall Street Journal, Liberty Steel USA reported that it has been given funding from Eclipse Business Capital, a U.S. lender. It replaces an existing loan with Wells Fargo. The deal provides financial relief to a part of Gupta’s global empire amid a wider restructuring following the collapse of specialty lender Greensill Capital. Terms of the loan were not released, but the article described Eclipse as a Chicago-based lender to midsize companies.

Gupta owns Liberty Steel USA through his GFG Alliance group of companies, which have more than 200 manufacturing assets in 12 countries. In the U.S., Liberty Steel manufactures wire rod and has operations in states including Illinois and South Carolina. Those include the Georgetown mill that Liberty purchased in a shuttered state from ArcelorMittal in December 2017, and reopened seven months later.

The prospects of GFG’s steel operations have been at risk for months following the unraveling last year of specialty finance firm Greensill Capital. Greensill and GFG were closely intertwined, with Greensill supplying the Gupta family’s steel, aluminum and energy businesses with their main source of funding.

Last modified on May 4, 2022

5/4/2022 -

The Prysmian Group reports that it is keeping pace with executing its plan to invest some €1 billion by 2024, mainly targeted at developing businesses that support the energy transition.

A press release said that global trends for creating more power through renewable resources were fueling the company’s investment plans. “Development of the trans-European power grid plays a strategic role in decarbonization and in the transition to renewable sources, as well as in improving EU energy autonomy — an urgent need that has returned to the fore with the Russia-Ukraine conflict,” said Prysmian Group CEO Valerio Battista. “As a global leader in the cable industry, we have decided to increase investments chiefly in support of energy interconnection projects and connections for renewable sources.”

The investment plan seeks to consolidate the company’s approximately 35-40% share in the high voltage submarine and underground cable market, which per 2025 forecasts is projected to top  €8 billion a year in terms of projects awarded. In 2021, Prysmian acquired projects worth €4.8 billion.

The Group is accelerating its plan to build the first high-voltage submarine cable facility in Massachusetts, USA, which with an investment of approximately €200 million will be a hub of strategic importance for the development of the offshore wind power industry in the country.

Significant investments will be made in expanding the production capacity and technological equipment of the key excellence centers for power transmission submarine cables. An investment of over €80 million will go to the Arco Felice (Naples) plant, which will be expanded, including in view of the execution of the Tyrrhenian Link interconnection. An investment of over €100 million will go to Pikkala (Finland) center of excellence for Northern Europe, particularly focused on offshore wind farm cabling projects, as well as to the Gron plant in France for the production of the German HVDC cable projects. The current submarine cable production structure is rounded out by the plants in Nordenham, Germany, and Drammen, Norway.

Another investment was in the Leonardo da Vinci, the world’s largest cable-laying vessel, which required an investment exceeding €170 million. Built by the Vard Group (Fincantieri), the vessel will expedite the time needed to complete submarine interconnection projects, while also decreasing their environmental impact. The Group’s fleet of cable-laying vessels also includes in addition to the new barge Barbarossa. Moreover, in addition to the Arco Felice (Naples) base, it can also count on the Middlesbrough operating base in Great Britain.

In terms of technical advances, Prysmian notes that its 525 kV P-Laser cable system, offers unparalleled efficiency in energy transmission and an innovative aramid-armored cable for submarine depths of up to 3,000 meters. Another innovation has been the development of digital devices for power grid monitoring, an area in which Prysmian is on the cutting edge with the PRY-CAM technology. Following the integration of the acquired Omnisens with Prysmian Electronics, the Group created the new EOSS Division with the objective of further developing this promising niche market capacity expansion at the Italian, Finnish and French plants.

Last modified on May 4, 2022

5/4/2022 -

Per a report in The Times of India, RR Kable plans to invest more than 1,000 crore (one crore equals approximately $131,000 as of April 16). “We are having major expansion plans at our facility in Vadodara and Silvassa. The manufacturing capacity will be ramped up and new facilities will also be set up,” said Shreegopal Kabra, group president and managing director, RR Kabel. He added that about Rs 650 crore will be invested in wire and cable, Rs 200 crore in lighting and fan, and the rest in the production of switchgear. He said that the company will also increase its employee strength amid the expansion.

“We will hire about 2,500 employees in the next three years. Our current employee strength is 5,000 employees and we plan to take it to 10,000 in the next few years,” Shreegopal told TOI. The company has also set up a new plant in Waghodia where it will manufacture an entire range of switch products. Their exports currently stand at 27% of their production. The management also said that it will increase the number of women employees from the current 9% to 25% in the next five years. Established in 1986, RR Kabel currently has Rs 9,000 crore of annual turnover. They recently announced the acquisition of Luminous Home Electrical business from Schneider.

“This acquisition will further strengthen the company’s consumer electrical business,” said the release. noting that the transaction is expected to close in May this year. RR Kabel is the flagship company of RR Global and it is among the leading wire and cable manufacturers in India.

Last modified on May 4, 2022