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Italy’s TIM SpA has named five domestically based companies as suppliers for the fiber optic cables to be needed by its fixed network business, FiberCorp, for the next two years.

A press release said that the suppliers—Ecotel, Metallurgica Bresciana, Prysmian, Technikabel and Tratos—will supply TIM’s FiberCorp entity, which wants to connect 76% of underserved regions by 2025. Through a complex organization plan, the goal is to create a single access network in Italy, that will see FiberCorp merge with Open Fiber, the state-owned infrastructure company created by utility Enel and investment bank—and TIM shareholder—Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP). TIM will deploy fixed wireless access to the areas not covered by the FiberCorp plan in 2022.

The release said that winning companies confirmed that the development of the cables, the cut to length, quality control and storage will all be carried out within their company, at production and certification facilities and warehouses situated on national territory. “With this operation, TIM confirms its commitment in support of the country and its entrepreneurial fabric, with the aim of optimizing the excellence and quality of Italian production to develop a strategic infrastructure for digitization, which demands top performance and efficiency.”

FiberCorp has already taken the first steps to build its own network, closing and assigning the first of the two tenders for the supply of fiber optic cables. Tratos announced that it has won a €20 million fiber cable order.

Last modified on December 7, 2020

Bombardier Transportation has agreed to sell the activities of its Electrical Wiring Interconnection Systems (EWIS) at its manufacturing site in Huehuetoca, Mexico (BT Ensambles México) to a subsidiary of Motherson Sumi Systems Limited (MSSL).

A press release said that the MSSL subsidiary will continue manufacturing the same electrical harnesses and assemblies as currently produced at the Huehuetoca site in Mexico. The divestment furthers its focus on reducing the activities to core and integration competencies. “The transaction is beneficial to both parties, since Bombardier Transportation has been seeking to establish a long-term supplier partnership for electrical harnesses and assemblies in the Americas region and MRS is an excellent partner for this,” said Elliot Sander, president, Americas Region, Bombardier Transportation.

The news follows a similar divestment last December that saw Bombardier sell its electrical wiring interconnection system (EWIS) assets in Querétaro, Mexico, to Latécoère. That deal included a long-term supply agreement for Latécoère to supply EWIS to Bombardier. In February 2019, Bombardier sold its wiring harnesses assets in Derby, U.K., to a subsidiary of MSSL.

Last modified on December 8, 2020

United Arab Emirates’ Ducab HV, a subsidiary of Ducab Group, has won an order from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) to supply the high-voltage cable for Phase 5 of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park (MBR Solar Park).

A press release said the order is for approximately 275 km of cable as well as “relevant accessories and terminations.” The project will be executed over three plots, each designed to generate 300 megawatts. The MBR Solar Park was described as the world’s largest single-site solar park, based on the independent power producer model. When completed, it is designed to be one of the most cost-effective solar parks anywhere.

Ducab HV will also be responsible for cable installation as the cable subcontractor appointed by Shanghai Electric of China. The latest project award follows Ducab HV having successfully energized the full turnkey 132kV system for Phase 3 of the MBR Solar Park.

DEWA is seeking to position Dubai as a global hub for clean energy and green economy through several initiatives. Its Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 initiative aims to provide 75% of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy by 2050. That goal has seen greater development of more diverse energy grids using customized cabling for projects that seek to harness the power of solar, wind, and nuclear energy. The MBR Solar Park has a planned production capacity of 5,000 MW by 2030, with investments totaling approximately US$13.6 billion. When completed, it will save over 6.5 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually.

“Ducab has a strong record of contributing towards some of the most prestigious projects in the UAE and the wider GCC region, and the MBR Solar Park is no exception,” said Ducab HV CEO Mike Engelbrecht said of the new award, which he observed was won amid fierce competition from world-class competitors. “The project will see quality, ‘Made in UAE’ cables continue to be incorporated into the landmark site, powering the development of the country for many years to come and a testament to the UAE government’s strategy to develop in country competence.”

Last modified on December 7, 2020

NKT has won a long-term frame agreement with Swedish utility Ellevio to reinforce the power grid in Central Sweden, a four-year deal that calls for it to supply low- and medium-voltage power cables.

A press release said that NKT will continue its long-term collaboration with Ellevio to reinforce and expand the regional power grid in Central Sweden. The deal includes cable with voltage levels from 1 kV to 36 kV for use in projects such as replacing overhead lines with underground power cables and reinforcing the power grid in urban areas around Stockholm, the capital of Sweden.

“With the new frame agreement, we continue our engagement in ensuring the grid has the capacity needed to be ready for the increased electrification driven by urbanization and the transition to renewable energy,” said Peter Marcusson, Nordic director of sales for utilities at NKT. The agreement, he said, runs until 2024, with an option to extend it for three more years.

The deal with Ellevio also includes collaboration on the development of new products and methods to future proof the power grid in the region, Marcusson said. He noted that part of the infrastructure is aging and needs to be reinforced and expanded to meet the growing demand for electricity.

A central part of the ongoing reinforcement is to weather proof the power grid by exchanging overhead lines with underground cables to minimize the risk of weather-related blackouts. In Stockholm, urbanization drives investments in the power grids as new city areas arise with roads and tunnels being built. The capacity of the power grid in the larger cities of the region also needs to take a growing number of electrical cars into account which is driving the need for timely expansion of the power grid.
Ellevio is one of the largest utilities in Sweden supplying electricity to more than 960,000 customers in Central Sweden including the Stockholm area.

Last modified on December 7, 2020

The Prysmian Group reports that it has signed a preferred bidder agreement with RWE Renewables Sofia Offshore Wind Farm—the world’s second biggest offshore wind farm developer—for the development of the turn-key high voltage submarine and land export cable connection worth over €200 million for the project.

A press release said that the project will require more than 440 km of ±320 kV submarine export cables with XLPE insulation, and 15 km of ±320 kV land cables with P-Laser insulation. All the submarine cables will be produced at Prysmian Group’s Centre of Excellence in Pikkala, Finland, while the land cables will be manufactured at the Gron plant in France. The offshore cable operations will be performed using the Leonardo da Vinci, Prysmian’s new cutting-edge cable laying vessel that is the most capable in the market and is able to offer enhanced project versatility. Commissioning of the project is scheduled for late 2024.

The 1.4 GW offshore wind farm is located 195 km from the nearest point on the U.K.’s North East coast, the shallow central area of the North Sea known as Dogger Bank. The project is RWE Renewables’ largest single offshore wind project under development so far, as well as the farthest from shore. Once it becomes operational in 2025, it will be able to generate enough power to supply over 1.2 million homes with renewable electricity.

“The development of grid infrastructures for the transmission and distribution of electric power from renewable sources is strategically important, and positions Prysmian as the leading company for the energy transition,” said Hakan Ozmen, EVP Projects BU, Prysmian.

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) announced that it has won the contract for the Eastern Arctic Undersea Fiber Optic Network (EAUFON), a project that calls for 1,200 km of fiber optic submarine cable.

A press release said that the contract, funded by the Kativik Regional Government, (KRG), an oversight body, calls for connecting five communities in northern Québec that have been primarily dependent on satellite links. The goal is to provide a reliable, affordable and secure high-speed broadband Internet connectivity.

The EAUFON system, based on two fiber pairs and designed to offer a speed of at least 10 Tbps on each fiber pair, will be extendable in the future to connect other communities in northern Canada. The ASN system will integrate the latest versions of its subsea products, including high bandwidth repeaters, OADM Branching Units, SoftNode Submarine Line Terminal (SLTE), and modular duplicated Power Feed Equipment (PFE).

ASN President Alain Biston said that the company was honored to be selected by KRG. He noted that a key was ASN’s “previous experience in successfully installing advanced coherent submarine cable systems in the remote and harsh Arctic environment.”

ASN will manufacture the fiber optic submarine cable system at its facilities located in France and the U.K., and will deploy it using a purpose-built subsea cable ship. The system deployment will require adjusting to difficult weather conditions and complying with the regulatory, logistical, scheduling, and operational constraints associated with marine activities performed in the Hudson Bay. “This will be a real challenge, and ASN will draw upon its experience from four previous projects in the Arctic region to meet this new challenge,” the release said.

The EAUFON system is scheduled to be commissioned at the end of 2021. The Kativik Regional Government encompasses most of the Nunavik Region of Quebec. Nunavik is the northern half of the Nord-du-Quebec administrative region and encompasses all the territory above the 55th parallel (500,164 sq km).

Alcatel Submarine Networks, part of Nokia, notes that it has installed more than 650,000 km of optical submarine systems, enough to circumnavigate the globe 15 times.

Last modified on December 7, 2020

The Properzi In House Fair 2020 will be held Monday, Dec. 7, through Friday, Dec. 11, with a range of virtual technical events and opportunities to talk to staff will be offered throughout the week.

The Properzi In House Fair 2020 will feature presentations, face-to-face meetings, videos and many other opportunities that present Properzi technical know-how. There will be a series of webinars dedicated to many facets of Properzi technology and a virtual tour of the company’s facility, where participants will be “accompanied” by the Properzi team. The schedule for each day can be seen at www.properzi.com.

Face-to-face private meeting time slots can be scheduled on Dec. 9-11. There is a limited number of slots. To arrange for a meeting contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Last modified on December 1, 2020

Superior Essex Inc., the parent company of Essex Magnet Wire, and Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd., both specialists in magnet wire product development and custom products, announced the finalization of a global joint venture.

A press release said that the joint venture will expand upon a previous magnet wire partnership to create a global market leader, with the combined company to operate as Essex Furukawa Magnet Wire LLC, using the “Essex Furukawa” brand. It said that customers should benefit “from significant synergies, including expansion of custom product solutions, the sharing of best practices, and the ability to better service customers with additional points of shipping, expanded global sales and technical teams, increased global rod and foundry resources, and a diversified global innovation team, especially for EV/HEV developments.”

The release cited a number of advantages of the new global joint venture, as it will allow Essex Furukawa to “lead the industry in technological advancements; have market command positions in North America, Europe, Asia, and Japan; allow for strategic customer partnerships; and expedite R&D advancements. Essex Furukawa will offer the same consistent, quality products with advanced technology—especially for electric vehicles—while offering all of our customers a more robust global network on three continents.”

The release said that there will be no change to the current contracts being honored by either company due to the creation of Essex Furukawa. Of note, earlier this year, Essex Magnet Wire was recognized with a 2019 Business Partner of the Year Award from DENSO, the world’s second largest mobility supplier.

Last modified on November 18, 2020

LIBERTY Steel USA, part of the GFG Alliance, announced that it has completed the acquisitions of Ohio-based companies Solon Specialty Wire and Shaped Wire from Leggett & Platt.

A press release said that adding the companies will provide LIBERTY new product markets and avenues for growth in the U.S. Solon, a manufacturer of drawn steel wire, cold‐rolled shapes and aluminum products, will be incorporated and managed under the LIBERTY Johnstown Wire business.

“Solon’s wide range of wire size capabilities will complement (our) existing North American wire operations in Peoria, Illinois, and Johnstown, Pennsylvania,” said LIBERTY Steel USA Chief Executive Greg Jones. “(Our) Solon’s operations have been strongly profitable historically and will drive synergies and growth across LIBERTY’s wire business.”

Last modified on December 7, 2020

Leggett & Platt confirmed that Solon Specialty Wire, part of the Leggett & Platt Wire Group, was sold on Oct. 9 to an undisclosed buyer as part of a focus on core products.

The company, based in Solon, Ohio, produces a range of steel wire and steel wire products. It was acquired by Leggett & Platt in 2000, and in 2005, it was combined with another business (part of the sale) that provides aluminum wire and wire products.

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.