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HV submarine cable market seen high-powered through 2020

Submarine Electricity Transmission, a new report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant's Energy Practice, projects significant growth in the small and highly specialized high-voltage submarine cable market for years to come, but without added capacity it notes that this could be a case of good-news, bad news.

A press release said more than 1,100 new submarine electricity cable systems are planned from 2012 to 2020. "National governments and regional organizations are accelerating efforts to build offshore renewable power generation facilities, link remote landmasses, and interconnect their national grids," it said. However, it warns, this level of growth "will be impossible to realize...without a major expansion of supply channels."

"The high-voltage submarine market faces significant challenges moving forward," Senior Research Director Bob Gohn said in the release. "The current supply chain is only capable of fulfilling about half of the planned cables over the next five years. The submarine cable manufacturing market has steep barriers to entry, and is unlikely to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming five years. Thus, nearly all aspects of the existing market are likely to face delays, increased costs, and other difficulties."
The release said that submarine transmission project developers are beginning their conversations with cable suppliers early in the planning stages as cables that do not get their place in the production line will face increased costs that could easily push projects over budget. "Additional market players, or increased capacity from existing players, would allow the submarine power cable industry to come significantly closer to meeting the high demand in their extremely specialized market," it said.

The report, the release said, provides a comprehensive analysis of the worldwide market opportunity for submarine high-voltage DC and AC power cable projects, including an assessment of demand drivers and supply chain dynamics, both now and in the years ahead. The study, it said, features in-depth profiles of more than 25 key industry players and case studies of more than 30 notable high-voltage submarine cable projects as well as market forecasts for submarine cable projects through the year 2020, segmented by world region and including three different growth scenarios. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Pike Research website at

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