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Industry News

6/2/2022 -

U.S.-based Clearfield, which specializes in fiber management and connectivity platforms for communication service providers, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Finnish company Nestor Cables, a leading developer and manufacturer of fiber optic cable solutions.

A press release said that the pending acquisition follows a long-standing, synergistic relationship between Clearfield and Nestor, who have worked together for over a decade. Founded in 2007 in Oulu, Finland, Nestor’s product portfolio includes fiber optic cables, connectivity accessories for fiber optic networks and instrumentation, and the Nestor Optimus product family for microduct networks. Nestor offers complete solutions for fiber optic networks, including FTTH and FTTP.

Nestor has a strong market position in Finland as a supplier of optical fiber cabling. The company also exports many of its products to the European continent, accounting for approximately 30% of its annual revenues. In 2021, Nestor generated EUR €31.7 million in revenue under Finnish Accounting Standards

Nestor operates two production facilities and has customers in more than 50 countries. Since 2012, Nestor has supplied fiber optic cables for Clearfield. The strategic acquisition will enable Clearfield to vertically integrate the supply of its fiber optic cables to meet future customer demand. It also makes it possible for Clearfield to leverage Nestor’s deep technical expertise.

The deal will also enable Clearfield to extend the available supply of FieldShield fiber into the North American market. Clearfield expects to open optical fiber production in its Mexico facility and begin production of optical cable in North America in early calendar year 2023.

Last modified on June 2, 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

5/4/2022 -

The Madem Reels Group will open a new plant in North America as part of its expansion plans.

A press release said that shareholders of Madem-Moorecraft Reels USA, Inc., have agreed to open a new manufacturing, assembly and distribution plant in Denton, Texas. This will be the company’s second manufacturing plant in North America, following the opening of its first one in North Carolina. “Madem Group is successfully shaping another important project through excellence in streaming its core competencies,” said Madem Moorecraft Reels USA President Marcos Ramalho.

Plans call for operations to begin in 2022, with assembly and distribution beginning in the second quarter, and manufacturing in the fourth quarter. The company has invested in cutting-edge CNC lines, and expects to create a hundred new jobs. Annual capacity should reach over 1,200 truckloads of KD reel kits per year. “The new Denton plant represents our latest commitment to increase production capacity and expand our North American distribution network,” said Steve Redhage, vice president of sales.

Based in Brazil, the Madem Group is a leading global manufacturer of nailed wooden reels. It has its own renewable forests, sawmill and manufacturing facilities in Brazil that support the company’s global partners in the U.S., Bahrain, Colombia, Mexico, and Spain. We employ over 700 dedicated associates worldwide. Combined annual production exceeds 6,000 containers of knocked down reels, including customized products, that ship to over 150 wire and cable plants worldwide. 

Last modified on May 4, 2022

5/4/2022 -

Google has announced a project to connect Canada and Japan with an undersea fiber optic cable called Topaz, a project that will connect Vancouver and Port Alberni to Mie and Ibaraki prefectures in Japan.

A press release said that Topaz will have 16 fiber pairs that are capable of speeds up to 240 Terabits per second. “We expect the cable to be ready for service in 2023, not only delivering low-latency access to Search, Gmail and YouTube, Google Cloud, and other Google services, but also increasing capacity to the region for a variety of network operators in both Japan and Canada.”

Google is working with local partners in B.C. and Japan to help complete the project, including the Hupacasath, Maa-nulth, and Tseshaht First Nations. This will be the first trans-pacific cable to connect Canada to Japan.

Google noted that with the addition of Topaz, the company has now announced investments in 20 subsea cable projects. These include Curie, Dunant, Equiano, Firmina and Grace Hopper, and consortium cables like Blue, Echo, Havfrue and Raman—all connecting 29 cloud regions, 88 zones, 146 network edge locations across more than 200 countries and territories.

Last modified on May 4, 2022

5/4/2022 -

Nexans has been awarded a contract worth around €100m by French grid operator RTE to supply and install cables for the 496 MW Le Treport offshore wind farm.

A press release said that the contract comprises 47 km of offshore and 18 km of onshore export cable for the wind farm, which is located more than 15.5 km from Le Tréport and 17 km from Dieppe.

The consortium Eoliennes en Mer Dieppe Le Treport is developing the offshore wind farm. RTE has been appointed by the French government to connect the wind farm from the offshore substation to the onshore power grid by installing two subsea and onshore links.

For the subsea section, Nexans will supply two 23.5 km lengths of 225 kV three-core cable. The cable has hybrid armoring and incorporates a fiber-optic element to remotely monitor the health of the link and transmit information between the offshore wind farm and the onshore base.

Nexans’ Halden plant in Norway will manufacture the subsea cables, while the land cables will come from the Nexans plant in Charleroi, Belgium. The fiber-optic elements will be supplied from the Norwegian site in Rognan. The installation of the subsea cables should start in the second half of 2024.

The cables will be laid by the CS Skagerrak, one of Nexans’ two cable laying vessels. The onshore link will have 18 km of 225 kV single-core cable, similar to that supplied to RTE by Nexans under the current framework contract for onshore cables. Nexans will also be in charge of the cable burial and protection for the onshore section.

Last modified on May 4, 2022