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The “sale closed” sign is posted on the Hilco Industrial website for the assets sale of Wrexham Wire, a U.K. company that saw its outlook decline, with Covid-19 a contributing factor.

The company, which manufactured cold heading, bedding and seating, and galvanized and engineering wire, closed on August 3 as part of an annual shutdown, but did not reopen for business. Efforts to find a buyer/investors did not succeed, and the company was placed into administration. Some 80 jobs were lost.

Per multiple media reports and the company’s website, the operation produced an average of 50,000 tons of finished products a year at its base in the Wrexham Industrial Estate. The company, which exported to 14 countries and was once the U.K.’s largest producer for the automotive and construction sectors, could not continue operations. It had been scheduled to be an exhibitor at wire Dusseldorf 2020.

Anthony Collier and Ben Woolrych, partners at specialist business advisory firm FRP, were appointed as joint administrators. The company previously fell into administration in 2015, when it traded as Caparo Wire.

“Wrexham Wire, like many of Britain’s industrial businesses, has faced a catalogue of challenges in recent months as it contended with a weakening global economy, political uncertainty and the disruption of the pandemic,” Collier said.

NKT has completed an upgrade to a high-voltage power link that saw the replacement of four existing power cables that were installed in 1973 with the company’s 400 kV XLPE HVAC power cables.

A press release said that NKT completed the upgrade of the high-voltage power link connecting Denmark and Sweden. The original power cables were the world’s first low-pressure, oil-filled power cables installed offshore at this voltage level.
Since 1915 the power grids of Sweden and Denmark have been connected by a power cable providing exchange of energy between the neighboring countries. For NKT, the project was executed to a tight time schedule, and the new power cables for the historical power link are now in full operation.

Interconnectors are essential to the power cable infrastructure needed to ensure an efficient integration of the increasing amount of renewable energy produced in Europe. We are happy to upgrade the cables across Öresund playing a key part in maintaining the high transmission security of both countries and to strengthen the interconnection of the European power grids, says Executive Vice President Claes Westerlind, head of the Swedish high-voltage NKT factory in Karlskrona.

The power link across Öresund is owned by the Swedish national grid operator Svenska Kraftnät that awarded NKT the project in a consortium with Boskalis. In a joint effort, the two companies successfully replaced the original oil-filled cables with four new 400 kV XLPE HVAC power cables in close collaboration with Svenska Kraftnät and Energinet in Denmark. The new cables were made at the company’s high-voltage power cable factory in Karlskrona, which is running on 100% green electricity.

Of note, the original power cables were produced by the cable division within ASEA, a unit now part of NKT. In collaboration with Boskalis, NKT removed the old power cables which were sent for recycling before the new power cables were installed at the same location and connected to substations at the shores on both sides.

Global Optical Communication Uzbekistan (GOC-UZ) has started construction of a fiber-optic cable production plant in the free economic area in the city of Jizzax in Uzbekistan.

Per a report in TELCOMPER, GOC-UZ already produces cable in an existing building in Jizzax, with 58 employees working at the joint venture. One hundred new jobs will be created in 2021, and the plan is to later expand this to 300 people. The goal is to manufacture 50,000 km of cable in 2021, up from 10,000 km this year.

Construction is due for completion in the first quarter of 2021. This year in Uzbekistan, 26,500 km of fiber-optic lines have been deployed.

GOC-UZ is a joint venture by two Korean companies—Global Optical Communication Co. Ltd. and Uni Asset Global Co. Ltd.—and Uztelecom, Uzbekistan’s national operator. The two South Korean companies hold a 55% stake in the joint venture, with the remainder owned by Uztelecom.

Organizers of Wire & Cable Guangzhou, which originally had been scheduled to be held in June and was rescheduled to November, report that the event will now be held in 2021.

A press release said that the move was made “due to the impact of Covid-19 on global industrial activity, and the corresponding impact on the wire and cable industry in Southern China.” After extensive consultations with the fair’s stakeholder groups, the event organizing committee of Wire and Cable Guangzhou decided that deferring the fair to 2021 was the best course of action for the industry. The new dates for the event, to be held at the China Import and Export Fair Complex, will be announced at a later time.

“With a strong recovery expected in 2021, we believe it is in the best interest of our exhibitors to reserve their marketing efforts for a more vibrant fair next year,” said Emeka Hu, general manager of Guangzhou Guangya Messe Frankfurt Co. Ltd. At that point, she said, “participants will be able to take advantage of a more prosperous business environment, and the fair can continue its growth trend.”

The release said that Wire and Cable Guangzhou has experienced consistent year-on-year growth since 2009, including a 14% rise in visitor numbers at its 2019 edition. Established in 2009, Wire & Cable Guangzhou provides a showcase for exhibitors that included manufacturers and solution providers for cable and wire, testing instruments and smart grids. The 2019 exhibition had 220 exhibitors and 26,410 attendees from 41 countries and regions. For more details, go to www.wire-cable-china.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Spain’s Delta Tecnic has opened a new plant in Querétaro, Mexico, becoming the first manufacturer in the country to specialize in color concentrates for automotive wire and cable as well as other products.

A press release said that the factory in Mexico will produce masterbatch for distribution throughout the Americas. Delta Tecnic has two production plants in Sant Celoni (Barcelona), with a total surface area of 15,000 sq ft and a multidisciplinary staff of 160 people. The Mexico plant has a surface area of 3,000 sq m, expandable to 5,000 sq m, and currently has 10 employees, and is forecast to have between 20 to 40 workers within a year. The company, which formed its Deltacolor Masterbatch division in 1989, now exports to more than 50 countries.

“Delta Tecnic is proud to have a resilient model based on innovation that allows us to grow in strategic industries,” said company CEO Eric Xirinachs. He noted that the micromasterbatch has a smaller pellet size that improves dilution when extruding cables. They are applied to both PVC and polyolefins, and provide better control and optimal color homogeneity, improved product quality, increased cable production speed and lowers costs.

Besides auto, the company is pursuing growth for products related to environmental awareness, such as renewable energies and, consequently, to cabling for wind and photovoltaic energy, and more. Of particular importance in the plastics market is thermal insulation, with new designs for more complex profiles that result in lower energy consumption in public and private building as well as an increase in the market for telecom cables and wiring applications for large, domestic appliances, where the greater complexity in energy saving programs is creating an increased demand in the needs for electrical wiring.

Xirinachs said that he is confident the new factory will allow Delta Tecnic “to consolidate its position as a technological leader, as well as to supply products to companies in various sectors anywhere in the world.”

Last modified on November 3, 2020

The Prysmian Group announced that it is working with Dutch operator KPN in a pilot project involving a fiber optic network that will use 90% recycled plastic.

A press release said that KPN will be the first telecommunications firm in Europe to use the new Prysmian cable concept to install connections for its customers. The sustainable solution uses Prysmian’s Sirocco HD 96f cable, launched earlier this year, and thinner Easenet tubes. The 4.5-mm diameter cable in a 10-mm sleeve can replace the use of a conventional 6-mm cable in a 14-mm sleeve. That advance alone guarantees an approximately 50% reduction in the volume of plastic used. Also, the smaller diameters allow a greater length of cable to be supplied on a single reel, significantly reducing costs in terms of transport, storage and packaging.

The pilot projects will be developed in the Netherlands, in Buitenpost (Friesland) and Nijmegen. Further advantages are expected to emerge during the installation, such as less excavation works required at the network concentration points, leading to less soil to be removed and processed.
“This project is yet another demonstration of Prysmian’s commitment to developing innovative and sustainable quality broadband networks,” said Prysmian Group Vice President Toni Bosch. “With the world’s ever-increasing demand for information, this innovative solution enables the use of smaller trenches for new installations, resulting in lower installation costs and the use of less raw materials. This provides benefits in terms of both the total cost of network deployment and the environmental footprint.”

The new cables and tubes require about half the usual raw materials (plastic or PE) of conventional cabling. Beside these direct savings, the new concept offers an indirect environmental advantage since over 90% of the tubes are manufactured using high-quality recycled PE. This immediately translates into a reduction of the carbon emissions and ultimately of end-of-life waste. In addition, Prysmian expects to achieve a further reduction of carbon emissions through savings on logistics, storage, and packaging materials, which will be evaluated in a real-life test for KPN.

Last modified on October 6, 2020

Germany’s NKT announced that, due to growing demand for power cables in the offshore industry, the company is increasing its capacity to transport and store offshore power cables from its factory in Cologne.

A press release said that due to the positive market outlook and a strong order backlog, NKT is investing in a new specially designed barge for use on the river Rhine to increase cable transportation capacity and enhance the security of delivery from its manufacturing site in Cologne. NKT will also increases capacity at its logistical center in Rotterdam, from where the offshore cables manufactured in Cologne are loaded to cable-laying vessels.

“The investment will strengthen our position as a leading provider of offshore power cables,” said Executive Vice President Mika Makela, who is heading the manufacturing site in Cologne. The barge is designed and being built by Neptune Marine for the changing conditions of the Rhine, including its ability to operate in shallow water levels. To minimize the environmental impact, the barge is powered by green electricity during cable loading at the harbor in Cologne where the factory is also powered by electricity generated from renewable energy.

NKT is strategically well-positioned to deliver power cables for the growing offshore wind sector in the North and the Baltic Sea as well as the interconnector market driven by the transition to renewable energy across Europe. The barge is expected to be fully operational by year’s end.

Last modified on October 6, 2020

LS Cable & System (LS C&S) reports that it has started mass-producing aluminum wires for electric vehicles.

Per a report in The Korea Herald, LS C&S expanded its investment in aluminum wires as it believes that aluminum will become a key material for vehicles amid growing competition in EV industries. Aluminum conductor wires are 40% lighter than conventional copper wires and can reduce the weight of wires from 25 kg per vehicle to about 15 kg, it noted.

LS C&S said it has built a factory exclusively for aluminum wire production in South Korea. The report said that it did so because if production facilities for copper and aluminum wire are combined, copper particles can corrode aluminum. Many companies in Japan are also building aluminum-only facilities.

The company said the proportion of aluminum wires in the domestic wire market will be more than 30% by 2025, up from about 5%. The firm’s aluminum wires are currently supplied to the nation’s largest automakers, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors.

“Through LS Alsco, a subsidiary that specializes in the aluminum business, we can supply high-strength aluminum and produce them in batches from materials to finished wire products,” said LS Cable & System. “We are also considering additional investments as we are about to sign a supply contract with a global wiring harness company.”

Last modified on October 6, 2020

U.K.-based Diploma PLC announced that it has agreed to acquire Windy City Wire (WCW), a U.S.-based manufacturer and distributor of low voltage wire and cable, for approximately $465 million.

Per a report by Reuters, the deal calls for an initial payment of about $450 million, and a later payment of $15 million if conditions are met. Based in Bolingbrook, Illinois, WCW has an additional 18 locations nationwide.

Per a report in proactiveinvestors.co.uk, “WCW, whose management team will stay with the business, enhances Diploma’s existing position in the controls market, ‘with a core product we understand,’ and offers ‘exciting organic growth potential taking market share in structurally attractive end segments.’”

Last modified on October 5, 2020

Graycliff Partners LP announced that it has completed its acquisition of Gerard Daniel Worldwide, a leading manufacturer and distributor of wire mesh and other wire products.

A press release said that Gerard Daniel, founded in 1952, has grown from a domestic reseller of wire mesh into a full-service manufacturer and distributor of more than 5,000 wire mesh and related products to over 3,000 customers worldwide. The company’s products are used for filtration, sound suppression, heat dispersion and electro-chemical applications, and sold into end markets such as automotive, aerospace, energy, pharmaceutical, electronics, food and general manufacturing. Based in Hanover, Pennsylvania, the company serves its global customer base from 11 manufacturing and distribution facilities in the U.S., Canada and Ireland.

“Gerard Daniel has evolved into an impressive global competitor in wire mesh applications over its history,” said Graycliff Partners Managing Director Andrew Trigg. He observed that being part of Graycliff Partners will enable Gerard Daniels to deepen its “operational efficiencies through data and digital investments, expansion into new technologies like synthetic materials and applications, and effectuate and integrate strategic acquisitions.”

“We realized ... it was the right time to capitalize on the market potential by bringing on a financial partner,” said Gary Shultis, shareholder and Gerard Daniel’s former CEO of 35 years. Gerard Daniel is the initial investment in Graycliff’s fourth private equity fund.

Last modified on October 5, 2020

LLFlex reports that it has acquired the wire and cable metal armoring tapes slitting division of Web Industries, an international materials converter and contract manufacturer.

A press release said that the deal includes the slitting and related assets for the production of coated and uncoated copper and aluminum cable wraps and armor tapes. The acquisition bolsters the capacity and capabilities of the state-of-the-art production cell at LLFlex’s new High Point, North Carolina manufacturing facility. That, it said, includes the industry’s largest diameter coils.

Incorporating Web Industries’ infrastructure furthers the new site’s position as a “Global Cable Wrap Center of Excellence,” the release said. “Combined with Foreign Trade Zone status and flexible shipping options, including plans to launch its own shipping truck fleet later this year, the move helps make LLFlex a turnkey, single-point provider for all cable wrap needs.”

“LLFlex can now provide the widest range of coated and bare steel, copper and aluminum cable wraps and armoring solutions in the marketplace,” said company CEO Victor Dixon. “These unique assets and capabilities make LLFlex even more versatile with the technical leadership, expanded product range and global supply chain network to develop, produce and deliver new, innovative products for evolving industry needs.”

The release said that the new plant includes several innovations. One of those is that LLFlex is initiating a groundbreaking touchless packaging process that eliminates edge damage due to manual handling, and pioneering a slitting technology that results in flat edges for improved processing and weldability on cable lines.

At press time, the new plant was scheduled to commence wide-scale production in a very short time. The release said that the North Carolina facility has seen a steady march of progress toward its official opening. That includes installation of temperature and humidity controls, site certification to operate as a Foreign Trade Zone, hiring of skilled staff and a production manager, docking and loading bay construction, wiring the facility for industrial-grade electricity bandwidth and testing the plant’s ERP system as being a GMP compliant, ISO 9001:2015 accredited plant.

Last modified on October 5, 2020

Egyptian ICT infrastructure provider Benya Capital recently has signed a contract with the Arab Organisation for Industrialisation (AOI) to establish what was described as the largest fiber-optic cable factory in the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

A press release said that the plant, expected to cost over EGP 1 billion, will be built on a large site at the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone). A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the AOI, Benya Capital (formerly known as Fiber Misr) and the Arab Academy for Science, Technology, and Maritime Transport (AASTMT).

The three entities will team up for Artificial Intelligence (AI) projects and training in installation, and operation and maintenance of fiber networks. AOI chairperson Abdel Moneim Al-Tarras said the factory will provide many job opportunities for young engineers and technicians, as well as training in the latest fiber-optic cable technologies. He said that the AOI aims to establish a national industry that meets local market needs in terms of communications infrastructure. It will also serve Egypt’s new development projects and smart cities, in addition to opening export markets in the MEA region.

Last modified on September 1, 2020