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Wire Journal News

1/7/2022 – Below are the individuals who will lead the Wire Association in 2022, and details about them.

James R. York will serve as the Association’s president in 2022, succeeding Thomas Heberling, Southwire Co. The other officers are 1st Vice President Daniel Blais, Prysmian; 2nd Vice President Kurt Breischaft, SDI LaFarga COPPERWORKS; WAI Executive Director/Secretary Steve Fetteroll; and WAI Treasurer Sheila Kuever. The WAI officers are key to the direction and planning for events, products and services to serve the WAI’s 2,000 members.

President: James R. York
James R. York is senior vice president of Insteel Industries Inc., where his focus is sourcing, logistics and business development. He joined the company in 2018, and prior to that had worked for Leggett & Platt for 15 years in key management positions, the last one being vice president, president rod & wire products. Prior to that, he had worked for Bekaert for nearly 20 years. He joined the Board of Directors in 2017 and the Executive Committee in 2018. He is the co-chair of the 2022 Conference Programming Committee, and he previously was a member of the Interwire Industry 4.0 Task Force and the Finance Committee. He has been a WAI member since 2012. He is active in the American Wire Producers Association. He holds a B.S. degree in marketing from the University of Missouri-Columbia’s College of Business.

1st Vice President: Daniel Blais
Daniel Blais is the North American manufacturing area utilities vice president for Prysmian, where he has worked since 1987. He is based at the company’s in Highland Heights, Kentucky. A WAI member since 2011, he is responsible for nine manufacturing facilities serving the utility and rod and strip customer base. He has held several operational leadership positions of growing responsibilities across the Prysmian North American footprint. He joined the Board of Directors in 2018 and the Executive Committee in 2019. He is the co-chair of the 2022 Conference Programming Committee, and he previously was a member of the Interwire Industry 4.0 Task Force and the Finance Committee. He holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Sherbrooke University.

2nd Vice President: Kurt Breischaft
Kurt Breischaft is the president of SDI LaFarga COPPERWORKS, a position he has held since 2013. He has held progressively responsible positions within the industry during his 30-year career, working for companies that include Cerrowire, Belden and Superior Essex. He serves on the WAI Board of Directors and is a member of the Executive Committee. He was the chairman of the Membership Committee from 2018 to 2021. He holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and an MBA from Indiana Western University. Of note, he also was the recipient of the 2006 Wire Link Traveling Scholarship Award.

Last modified on January 7, 2022

1/4/2022 – Prysmian Group has been awarded a framework contract worth around €1.71 billion by Terna Rete Italia SpA (Terna), for the Tyrrhenian Link project, which includes the design, supply, submarine and land installation, and commissioning of a total of over 1,500 km of submarine cables to support the power exchange among Sardinia, Sicily and Campania, thus reinforcing the Mediterranean energy hub.

A press release said that the order from Terna, a unit of an Italian electricity grid operator (TSO), calls for the turn-key installation of one to three 500 kV HVDC links. Each 500-km link will use single-core cables with mass impregnated insulation. They will also have double wire armoring, an innovation recently developed by Prysmian Group.

Delivery and commissioning are expected in 2025-2028. Installation will be done by Prysmian’s new vessel, the Leonardo da Vinci, which will deploy the cable to a water depth of 2,000 meters, the deepest ever reached for a power cable. The ship, described as the world’s largest cable-laying vessel, entered into operations in August 2021.

The contract also includes an electrode system and an optical fiber cable for system monitoring, as well as land civil works and land-fall HDD (Horizontal Directional Drilling). The submarine and land cables will be manufactured at Prysmian’s plant in Arco Felice (Naples).

“We are proud to have once again been chosen by Terna as a partner for this milestone infrastructure project, aimed at providing a more robust and sustainable national power grid,” stated Valerio Battista, Prysmian Group CEO. “We have proven to be able to offer the widest industry expertise, as well as technology and assets, to execute such an extensive and challenging project.”

The new 1,000 MW submarine link will help Italy reach its energy transition goals, enabling three regions to increase their solar and wind power exchange capacity generated locally. This will therefore support the development of renewable energy through better use of energy flows and a more efficient market.

“This contract adds to the other €2.3 billion projects already secured by Prysmian in 2021, thus further strengthening the Group’s ambition to become the strategic partner for developing power grids in support of the energy transition,” said Hakan Ozmen, EVP project business, Prysmian Group.

Last modified on January 4, 2022

1/4/2022 – Egypt’s Elsewedy Electric recently held an inauguration ceremony in Tanzania for an industrial complex and electric cable factory that was attended by senior government officials from both Egypt and Tanzania.

Per multiple media reports, Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan laid the foundation stone for what will be a factory that spans more than 120,000 sq m. The factory will employ 500 people to produce 15,000 metric tons of power cables, 1,500 transformers and 100,000 electricity meters per year. When completed, the factory will be the first such site in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Elsewedy plant is part of a 2.2-million-sq-m industrial park that the company is developing to accommodate labor-intensive industries. Elsewedy unveiled plans to invest $200 million in the first phase of its expansion plans in the country, leading to the construction of 100 manufacturing industries in the Kigamboni industrial space. The goal for the park—developed by Elsewedy Electric’s subsidiary, Elsewedy Industrial Development—is to support Tanzania’s industrialization strategy 2025.

Elsewedy Electric President and CEO Ahmed Elsewedy said at the ceremony that his company embarked on a mission to expand in Africa 20 years ago, and that Tanzania is a priority due to its favorable investment climate and the government’s support. The company plans to use the new complex as a manufacturing and export hub at the heart of east and south Africa due to Tanzania’s strategic location/borders with eight countries, six of which are land-locked.

Last modified on January 4, 2022

1/4/2022 – Austria’s Montana Aerospace AG has acquired Brazil’s Comercio Ltda. (São Marco), a manufacturer of magnet wire and copper rod as well as electro-insulating varnishes, resins and lubricants.

A press release said that adding the capacities of São Marco will bolster Montana Aerospace’s product offerings for round wires and conductors. Over the last decade, Montana Aerospace, which has 28 operations in four continents, has developed from a raw material extrusion supplier to a highly vertically integrated player.

“The combined experience, as well as their commitment and knowledge, will strengthen our position as a partner in quality and development, at the service of the energy market, and will strengthen our presence in the electric vehicle market,” said Heinz Riedler, CEO of Montana Aerospace’s Energy Division.

Commented Viakable CEO Sergio Valdés, “After 23 years of joint success, they will now experience a new stage with Montana Aerospace. I am convinced that they will continue to provide high value to their clients in the future and that they will position themselves as a benchmark in the evolution of the Brazilian market.”

Last modified on January 4, 2022

1/4/2022 – Hindalco Industries Ltd., the metals flagship firm of Aditya Birla Group, has agreed to acquire Ryker Base Pvt. Ltd. (RBPL), a subsidiary of Polycab India Ltd.

A report in the Business Standard said that the purchase was to be based on an enterprise value of ₹323 crore (about US$46.8 million). Hindalco operates one of the world’s largest single-location custom copper smelters at Dahej in Gujarat, with a copper rod capacity of 345,000 metric-tons per year (mtpy). The deal will strengthen Hindalco’s copper rod manufacturing capacity, allowing it to cater to growing demand from the electrical and electronics sectors.

Per the RBPL website, the company’s plant in Waghodia, Gujarat, has a gas-controlled shaft furnace, a modular Hazelett twin-belt caster, a caster station and a rolling mill with 12 individually driven roll stands, followed by a cooling section, a coiler and coil handling facility for automatic compacting, strapping and packing of the finished wire rod coils with a casting capacity of 35 t/h and annual installed production of 225,000 mtpy.

“Hindalco’s copper is a vital input to India’s accelerating journey on electrification, urbanization, renewables and e-mobility,” said Hindalco Industries Managing Director Satish Pai. “Keeping the needs of the nation and industry in mind, Hindalco has taken the step to expand its capacity.” He added that the plant is well aligned with its environmental, social and governance strategy.

The acquisition, the story said, forwards Hindalco’s downstream strategy. The company has previously announced two projects: an aluminum extrusion in Silvassa, and a flat-rolled products facility in Hirakud. “The Ryker deal will further enrich our portfolio of downstream products,” said Pai.

Last modified on January 4, 2022

1/3/2022 – Voting is currently underway for the 2022 New England Chapter Board of Directors. Chapter members in good standing were contacted via email at the beginning of December with voting instructions and can submit their online ballot up until the Jan. 18, 2022 deadline.

The incoming 2022 New England Chapter Board of Directors will be announced and introduced at the Chapter’s Annual Dinner on Feb. 24 at the Mohegan Sun. Registration for the event is open and can be found on WAI’s website.

Last modified on January 4, 2022

1/3/2022 – The New England Chapter is ready for the Feb. 24 return to the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, where more than a hundred people are expected to attend its annual meeting.

The annual dinner will be held for the first time at the casino’s Cabaret Theater. The event format will be the same, starting with a reception at 5:30 pm, where chapter members and others can mingle, an opportunity that has been all too rare the last two years. The new officers for 2022 will be introduced, as well as an update on the chapter’s college scholarship program.

“It will be great seeing everyone again at Mohegan Sun,” said 2021 WAI Chapter President John Accorsi, M. Holland, whose term will have ended. “It is always a fun venue for the meeting.” He said that it was unfortunate it could not be held in 2021, but the chapter was still able to remain active, holding its annual golf tournament as well as a successful on-line webinar.

The chapter meeting will also include the traditional raffle, which along with the annual golf tournament are the key sources for funding the scholarship program. The chapter hopes to see the same level of prior year company donations for the raffle as well as sponsorships, of which there are three levels: gold, $500; silver, $250; and bronze, $150.

The cost for the event is $120 for New England Chapter members, $130 for WAI members and $140 for non-WAI members. There also is a new WAI member package of $145 for dues and the dinner, and for $15, an existing WAI member can become a New England Chapter member.

For more details on this, contact WAI’s John Markowski at 203-453-2777, ext. 121, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Markowski, who began working as an intern for WAI in 2018 and became a full-employee last May, is the main contact for all of the Association’s chapters.

Last modified on January 4, 2022

1/3/22 – Nexans has won a more than €80 million contract from Equinor, a Norwegian state-owned multinational energy company, to manufacture and install a power cable system that will deliver electricity directly from the Norwegian power grid to its Oseberg Field Centre.

A press release said that the cable system consists of a single three-core 132 kV AC cable with the capacity to transport and supply 180 MW to the main platform at Oseberg. The power cables will include two fiber optic cables, each fitted with 48 SM fiber optic elements. They will be connected to a central DTS system that allows operators to detect early warning signs of any technical issues in the cables. The cables will be manufactured at Nexans’ plant in Halden, Norway.

Nexans is Equinor’s long-term partner in renewable energy projects. Nexans cabling system will allow Oseberg to operate using renewable energy harnessed from hydropower and achieve about 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in those areas of the field.

Oseberg is located in the North Sea, around 140 km northwest of Bergen. The cable deployment will be done by the Nexans’ Aurora, which is designed to lay the cables in one compact installation. That method will save time and lower costs while also reducing the environmental impact of the operation due to smaller transport distances.

“Electrifying business operations in the energy sector plays an important part in reducing CO2 emissions and supporting the global transition to net zeros,” said Ragnhild Katteland, executive vice president for Nexans subsea and land systems business group.

Of note, last July Nexans was awarded an Equinor a contract to supply power export cable for what will be the world’s first floating solar plant that can operate in rough offshore waters.

Last modified on January 4, 2022

1/3/2022 – People hires/promotions

The Copper Development Association Inc. (CDA) has promoted Andrew G. Kireta Jr. to president and CEO. He brings nearly 30 years of copper industry experience to the role. He has been with CDA since 1992, having previously served multiple roles in market development, strategy, and organizational management in regional and national roles, most recently as vice president of market development across all copper and copper alloy product and market areas. He has served in various team roles with the International Copper Association (ICA), as leader of the global strategy team, and as a board member on the executive committee of ASTM International, including a term as the 2020 board chair. He succeeds Thomas S. Passek, who retired at the end of 2021 after seven years with the organization. He had previously worked for 12 years for ASM International, where he was managing director, and two years for The American Society for Nondestructive Testing, where he served as the executive director.

Service Wire Co. reported three staff changes. Bruce Kesler has been promoted to director of commercial and industrial sales. The newly created role will see him responsible for the company’s commercial and industrial effort in North America. He will oversee regional sales directors and managers, and national sales managers for industrial. He has more than 35 years of experience in the electrical industry, 15 with the company, where he started out as a central regional manager in 2007 and became director of sales in 2018. Corey Jarvis has been promoted from assistant sales manager for the Eastern/Central United States and Canada to sales manager of the company’s sales office in West Virginia. He has been with Service Wire for more than 11 years. Aaron Patten has been promoted from territory account representative to assistant sales manager of the West Virginia office. He has more than 11 years of sales and management experience, including four with the company. Based in Culloden, West Virginia, Service Wire is a second-generation, family-owned wire and cable manufacturer.

Mike Cunningham is the new European director of sales and service for Montalvo. He is responsible for developing and coordinating partnerships, forming new alliances with key players while bringing new innovations into the market. He holds an engineering degree from the Brunel University School in London. Based in Gorham, Maine, the Montalvo Corporation specializes in tension control products for multiple industries that include wire and cable.


Last modified on January 4, 2022

1/3/2022 – Sweden’s Elcowire reports at its website that the company has entered into an agreement to acquire KME’s rod and wire assets and business located in Hettstedt, Germany, with 180 employees.

“For Elcowire this means doubling the capacity to 300,000 metric tons for copper rod and adding a large share of the market with a wide range of capabilities for wire and strands solutions,” the company stated. It noted that the deal will strengthen Elcowire and give access to a larger customer base and product portfolio, as well as expand the geographical coverage.

“The acquisition has a perfect strategic fit and will add capacity and capability for a wider product range as well as being able to serve a larger market with our solutions, which substantially will contribute to lower the CO2 footprint,” Elcowire Group CEO Paul Gustavsson said.

Together with the acquisition and the current operations in Sweden and Germany, Elcowire will be a much stronger player in the rod and wire business and be able to build further on its value-added offering in Elcowire’s other business units (high voltage, rail and specials).The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

Elcowire is one of the leading suppliers in Europe, developing products and services based on copper and aluminum wire rod for the electrical and infrastructure industry. Operations are located in Sweden and Germany. Elcowire consists of four business units: Rod, Rail, High Voltage and Specials. Elcowire, which employs 200 people, is one of seven businesses owned by the Liljedahl Group.

The KME Group was described as one of the world’s largest manufacturers of copper and copper alloy products and high-performance copper and copper alloy special products.

Last modified on January 4, 2022