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South Korea’s LS Cable & System Ltd., announced that it has won a contract with a German wind power firm to supply subsea cables for a Taiwanese offshore wind farm.

A press release said that the contract calls for 170 km of high-voltage underwater cables for an offshore wind farm, named Yunlin, that is located off the shore of Yunlin County in Taiwan. The farm is being built by the YunNeng Wind Power Co., part of the WPD Group, a Germany wind power company.

The release said that the submarine cable order for Taiwan represents a first for a South Korean company. The value of the deal was not released. It did note that as part of its plan to shut down nuclear power plants by 2025 and replace them with renewable energy, Taiwan is set to invest $23 billion in the construction of a 5.5-gigawatt offshore wind power facility.

In the release, LS Cable said that the deal bolsters its position for making further inroads into the European offshore wind power generation market. Established in Germany in 1996, WPD provides such services as construction and operation of wind farms. In the past 20 years or so, WPD notes that it has successfully carried out more than 400 wind farm construction projects around the world.

The central province of Quảng Ngãi has agreed in principle for Belgium’s NV Bekaert SA to build a steel fiber factory in a 40-hectare site at the VSIP Quảng Ngãi Industrial Park in the Sơn Tịnh District.

A report in multiple news organizations, including Viet Nam News, said that the Bekaert Việt Nam-Dung Quất steel fiber plant would have a total investment capital of more than US$125 million. Construction should begin late this year, and be in operation in 2021. At that point, it should be able to produce a range of products for automotive and other industries. The factory’s capacity would be up to 75,000 metric tons (mt) a year of braided steel fibers, 2,000 mt of steel cords and 2,000 mt of improved braided steel fiber, it said.

The project, the stories said, would be the second largest foreign direct investment (FDI) project in the Quảng Ngãi Province, after the project of Doosan Heavy Việt Nam Co. Ltd. 

The Wire Association International (WAI), Inc. announces the appointment of W.T. Bigbee as president of the association for a one-year term that commenced on January 1, 2019. Bigbee will serve as chairman of the Board of Directors and as the 66th president of the 89-year-old association, which is headquartered in Madison, Connecticut, USA.

 A 31-year veteran in the wire industry, Bigbee joined the Wire Association International in 2011. In addition to his role as WAI president, and his forthcoming second term on the association’s Board of Directors, Bigbee will serve on its Conference Programming Committee, Exhibition Planning Committee, and Oversight Committee.

Commenting on this new appointment, WAI Executive Director Steven Fetteroll said, “The Association is fortunate to have the leadership of W.T. Bigbee and the support of an amazing company, Encore Wire, during this is exciting period for the wire and cable manufacturing sector. Bigbee understands the confluence of Industry 4.0, lean manufacturing, and employment markets and, as a result, he can ensure the Association is positioned to support the needs of the industry. This vision led to the ‘Next Generation’ theme for the Interwire 2019 Conference and it was the impetus behind the creation of a plant manager’s forum.”

Bigbee is vice president of operations at Encore Wire Corporation. His current role includes the oversight of technical and production operations and the development of new products and services. During his 21-year tenure at Encore, he has served as director of technical operations and product engineering, plant manager and quality control, and process engineering manager. Before joining Encore in 1997, Bigbee worked at Capital Wire/General Cable for 10 years, where he started his career in the industry and worked his way into a process engineering position. He currently holds memberships and serves in key positions within the Aluminum Association, the Canadian Standards Association, the Copper Development Association, the National Armored Cable Manufacturers Association, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, the National Fire Protection Association, and the NEMA-UL Technical Forum.

WAI is governed by a network of volunteers from around the world. Joining Bigbee for the 2019 term will be members of the association’s 2019 executive committee: First Vice President, Jan Sørige, Enkotec Co. Inc.; Second Vice President, Tom Heberling, Southwire Co. LLC; Executive Committee Members, Daniel Blais, Prysmian, and James R. York, Insteel Industries; and Immediate Past President, Richard T. Wagner, Insteel Wire Products.

WAI, founded in 1930, is a not-for-profit association with more than 2,000 individual members in 54 countries around the globe. The association serves the educational needs of the wire and cable manufacturing industry through a variety of products and services. WAI manages the Interwire Trade Exhibition and the WAI Operations Summit & Wire Expo and publishes the Wire Journal International, Wire Journal International Reference Guide, and WIRE BULLETIN through subsidiary operations.

Media Contacts: Janice E. Swindells, Director Marketing & Corporate Communications, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel.: 001-203-453-2777 x. 117; Steven J. Fetteroll, Executive Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tel.: 001-203-453-1777.           

The Prysmian Group announced that it has won a contract from Caldwell Marine International LLC, a U.S. construction contractor specializing in submarine utility operations, to supply submarine cable.

A press release said that the Prysmian Group will design, manufacture, supply and test six km of 3 x 630 sq mm 115kV submarine cable system with XLPE insulation, plus all related cable accessories, to connect Deer Island to mainland Massachusetts in the U.S. The Group will also supply and install the cable for the land portion of the project, which calls for 8 km of 115 kV land cabling, along with all related accessories. All the submarine cables will be produced at Prysmian’s Centre of Excellence in Arco Felice, Italy, while the land cables will be manufactured at Prysmian’s factory in Abbeville, South Carolina. Delivery of the project is scheduled for early 2019.

"This contract represents a very strategic opportunity for Prysmian Group as we move, following the acquisition of General Cable, to consolidate our presence in the U.S. interconnection market," said Hakan Ozmen, EVP Projects, Prysmian Group. "By winning this key contract Prysmian has again confirmed its historical leadership in the U.S. market, both in high-voltage underground and submarine cable business solutions. The impressive track record in delivering complete cable solutions in the US market will identify Prysmian as well-equipped to capture any market opportunities that arise."

Germany’s Leoni AG reports that the company’s new plant in Kraljevo, which represents its fourth plant in Serbia, should be ready to start ramping up production of wiring systems for Mercedes by the end of January.

A press release said that the 60 million euro investment in Kraljevo is being made in steps, and that the current stage accounts for 6,500 sq m of production space, with some 150 engineers, technicians and workers in the production. The site will not be fully completed until the end of the first quarter of 2020, at which time the plant will be 45,000 sq m. By 2023, it should be in full capacity, employing around 5,000 workers.

The release said that plant, described as the first new one built in Kraljevo in 30 years, will be the company’s largest plant in Serbia. Leoni has been operating in Serbia since 2009, when the German-based company opened its first factory in Prokuplje. In 2014, a factory was opened in Malosiste and in 2017, one in Nis. All the plants manufacture wiring systems for producers of premium cars.

Since setting up its business, Leoni Serbia, in 2009, the company has invested approximately 90 million euros in its facilities, machinery and staff training, the release said. It currently employs around 6,000 people in the country, and once the Kraljevo plant is at full capacity it should have 10,000 workers, at which point Leoni expects to be the largest manufacturing-industry employer in Serbia.

"Serbia has great potential from the human capital point of view and a work culture and ethics that we really appreciate," the release. Over the past 10 years, more than 52 million euros in taxes and contributions have been made to the Republic of Serbia. "We are pleased to be developing our business in Serbia further."

Of note, Leoni AG this year is scheduled to see the opening of a new plant it announced last June in Bulgaria. That plant, which would bring 2,000 jobs to the northern city of Pleven in Bulgaria, would cost an estimated €32 million investment. The plant would be Leoni’s first in the country. It is scheduled to be fully operational by 2020, according to one report citing Bulgaria’s Economy Ministry.

Fluoropolymer Resources LLC (FRL) announced that the company has opened its new 63,000-sq-ft production facility in North Windham, Connecticut.

A press release said that the company’s state-of-the-art facility brings all of its existing assets under one roof, while also adding new capacity and capabilities to further expand their position as a leading global reprocessor of fluoropolymer products.

"FRL is incredibly excited to have made this move to our new facility at such a dynamic period in our 28 year history," said company CEO Kevin Buchanan. "With this year’s production topping 2.6 million lb of FEP, PFA and ETFE, and 30% growth in volume anticipated in 2019, we needed a larger factory with an open floor plan to expand and streamline our production for greater control of quality and yields."

More space was also required to complete the integration of FRL’s 2018 acquisition of Trifluor Kunststoff, the release said. It noted that the German fluoropolymer reprocessor is a world leader in supplying reprocessed PFA and FEP with clarity and properties equal to prime virgin polymer. That resource added substantially to FRL’s long-term commitment to upgrade the usefulness and value of even the most contaminated PFA and FEP scrap supplies.

FRL, a division of Prime Materials Recovery, is a leading recycler of FEP, PFA and ETFE fluoropolymer plastics in North America, with products sold across the globe.

Wire and cable manufacturer Lake Cable plans to invest $7 million to expand its Valparaiso plant.

Per a report in the Times of Northwest Indiana, Lake Cable, a privately held wire and cable manufacturing that employs 450 workers at five plants, including three in Indiana, plans to add 82,000 sq ft to its 126,000-sq-ft plant in Valparaiso. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2020.

"Fourteen years after expanding into Valparaiso, we are excited and optimistic about the way our business is growing and developing," Lake Cable President Emile Tohme said in the report. The business was founded by Bill Runzel IV in the 1990s on the west side of Chicago with just three wire-making machines and a total of four people.

Today, Lake Cable manufactures a variety of cables for the utility, renewable energy, commercial construction, petrochemical, transit, HVAC, fire alarm, building management system, steel, and industrial sectors. Once the expansion is done, plans call for up to 54 new workers to be hired.

Taiwan-based Admiral Cable announced plans to extend its manufacturing operations to New Mexico, where it will investing $50 million to build a 65,000-sq-ft facility in Santa Teresa as the first phase of expansion.

Per multiple published reports citing the office of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, the project will not be completed until early 2020, at which time the facility will be 175,000 sq ft. The company, which makes assembled electrical cords and power supplies and other industrial cables and wires, expects to hire 342 employees.

The governor said in the statement that she was able to connect with Admiral Cable last summer on a trip to Taiwan and the relationship developed from there. The state will provide up to $3.92 million in Local Economic Development Act funding for the expansion.

“Admiral Cable is excited to on-shore domestic manufacturing capacity in New Mexico,” T. C. Huang, chairman and CEO of I-sheng Electric Wire & Cable, a majority shareholder of Admiral Cable, said in a statement. “Santa Teresa affords us greater proximity to our customers with efficient market access, supply chain efficiencies and high-quality labor.”

Huang said that the state was an attractive place for the expansion. New Mexico’s strong business climate for manufacturers makes for a very compelling value proposition. “With a competitive total cost of operations, we can compete with foreign-made product right here from Santa Teresa. We thank Governor Martinez and her entire team for their professionalism and support through our site selection process.”

China’s Hengtong recently commemorated a significant subsea power cable accomplishment that it reported represents an industry milestone.

A press release said that on Nov. 26, 2018, the "Hengtong Overseas 10,000 km Submarine Optical Cable Delivery Ceremony" was held in Changshu, Jiangsu Province. The event celebrated Hengtong’s manufacturing and delivering nearly 3,000 km of submarine optical cable. The cable was supplied for use in Chile’s Fibre Optic Austral (FOA) subsea cable system, which will run along the coast of Chile, connecting Puerto Montt with Puerto Williams, with two branches to Tortel and Punta Arenas. With that production, the company achieved accumulative overseas deliveries of 10,000 km of submarine optical cables.

"This ranks Hengtong first in the world in both capacity and delivery to the domestic submarine optical cable market," the release said. "This is a milestone in China’s submarine cable industry and highlights the ‘made in China’ drive in the field of international oceanic communications."

During the event, Qian Jianlin, executive president of Hengtong Group, said that Hengtong was committed to creating a submarine industry supply chain of integrating product, engineering and operation service to promote the implementation of the "One Belt and One Road" initiative and contribute to global connections.

In the past five years, Hengtong has built a global-leading submarine optical cable R&D production base, includ-ing a system integration, testing center and a dock cabling system, making Hengtong one of the leading submarine optical cable companies, both at home and abroad, the release said. It added that the company has also introduced a number of new products, including two-stage composite cables for application in marine disaster prevention pre-warning networks.

Hengtong notes that it now has 10 manufacturing facilities based in China, Europe, South America, South Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia, with sales offices in more than 30 countries and regions that supply products and service to over 140 countries.

Nexans reports that it has been awarded a turnkey contract worth more than 100 million euros for a submarine cable link to reinforce the national grid of the Philippines.

A press release said that the order is from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), which is looking to unify and reinforce the national grid with the launch of the Mindanao Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP). The goal is connect the three power grids of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao into one unified national grid by 2020.

The release said that Nexans will provide 350 kV high-voltage direct current (HVDC) mass-impregnated (MI) submarine cable in water depths up to 650 m for the submarine link. To optimize the delivery of the submarine cabling system for the MVIP, Nexans will leverage its global manufacturing footprint. The 350 kV submarine MI cable will be manufactured in Nexans’ Nippon High Voltage Cable Corporation plant in Futtsu, Japan, as well as in its Halden plant in Norway. The installation and protection works will be performed by Nexans’ cable laying vessel, the C/S Nexans Skagerrak.

"Nexans is delighted to once again be trusted by NGCP, building on a number of projects the Group has successfully completed in the region," said Vincent Dessale, Senior Executive Vice President Nexans Subsea and Land Systems Business Group.

Per the release, in the last 15 years, power consumption in Philippines has increased by almost 80%, with 2017 use estimated at more than 94,370 GWh

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