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The Ducab Group announced that it has been awarded the full EPC (engineering, procurement & contracting) contract to supply and install 400 kV cables and accessories to link Al Dhafra—which when operational will be the world’s largest solar plant in Abu Dhabi—with the Emirate’s main TRANSCO transmission grid (Abu Dhabi Transmission and Despatch Company) through its specialised division, Ducab HV.

A press release said that the announcement was made by Ducab Group CEO Mohammad Almutawa at the Water, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition (WETEX). “We are proud that Ducab is assisting the nation in achieving its ‘Energy Strategy 2050’.” The collaborative project partnership includes testing and commissioning, and with the order, Ducab now supplies cables for the three largest solar projects in the UAE.

Ducab has supplied its custom-made SolarBICC cables to Abu Dhabi’s Shams 1 project and Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, two of the largest solar projects in the world. “As a champion of the “Made in the UAE” initiative, Ducab not only supplies solutions to leading power projects in the UAE but also supports products and counterparts in auxiliary industries to deepen the country’s industrial capabilities,” the release said. Ducab works with partners across the UAE industrial value chain, such as EGA, KIZAD, and Borouge, while acquiring many of its requirements from UAE-based organizations.

The Al Dhafra project supports the country’s Energy Strategy 2050’s goals that seek to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25% to 50% by 2050. The facility will deploy technologically advanced bifacial solar panels that deliver electricity at the highest efficiency levels by using both the front and back of panels. The facility will have a capacity of two gigawatts and supply power to Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC).
When fully operational, the release said, Al Dhafra will be the world’s largest single-site solar power plant, mitigating 2.4 million tonnes of CO2 annually and using 3.5 million solar panels to generate enough electricity for approximately 160,000 homes across the UAE.

Last modified on November 7, 2022

Hitachi Metals Limited (HML) has agreed to an acquisition offer—from a consortium led by Bain Capital, a private equity firm—that includes Hitachi Cable America (HCA).

A statement from HCA said that the Bain-led consortium “recognizes HML’s R&D leadership, deep relationships with industry-leading customers, and technological superiority in each of its business units. Bain plans to support the company by enhancing our competitiveness in high-growth sectors.” No plant closures are expected, and HCA “will remain a U.S. company.”

The deal was described as a positive step for HCA, which has continued to invest in manufacturing capabilities, machinery, advanced quality control techniques, R&D (see p. 38), technical expertise and capacity expansions. “We stand by our commitment to manufacturing premium products, and the strong financial profile backing of Bain Consortium will empower us to accelerate investment efforts.”

HCA includes three divisions: the Performance Cable Systems & Materials Division, with 240 employees; the Automotive Products Division, with 100 employees; and the High Performance Medical Solutions Division, which has 180 employees. The Performance Cable division’s 300,000-sq-ft plant in Manchester, New Hampshire, designs and produces advanced copper and fiber optic based communication cable.

The agreement will see a branding away from the HCA name on Jan. 4, 2023, into Proterial Cable America, a portmanteau of the words “professional” and “material.”

Last modified on November 7, 2022

Sweden’s Hexatronic Group AB (Hexatronic) has signed a binding asset purchase agreement to acquire all business activities of Rochester Cable from TE Connectivity (TE).

Per an announcement issued by Hexatronic, it will pay $55 million to acquire Rochester Cable, a U.S. designer and manufacturer of cables based in Culpeper, Virginia. The company has 130 employees and a production site of some 40,000 sq m. The deal, expected to close by the end of next March, will include all the land and buildings for the operations.

The agreement broadens Hexatronic’s offering within fiber optic submarine communication cables to include dynamic working cables that can transmit electrical signals and power in addition to transmitting optical signals. Rochester Cable’s electro-optical cables for operation in harsh environments are highly engineered to meet specific requirements in demanding industries such as oil and gas, sensing, defense, oceanographic and subsea applications. Product sales are mainly in the U.S. but also in the EMEA and APAC regions.

Over the last decade, TE significantly invested in increasing capacity, and the production facility provides many possibilities for further growth. The acquisition will include the land and buildings of the production sites and office buildings. Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close no later than March 31, 2023.

“We are happy to have reached an agreement with TE Connectivity ... (as) Rochester Cable is uniquely positioned with its know-how and application expertise, which has been developed as a market leader for decades,” said Hexatronic Group CEO Henrik Larsson Lyon.

Hexatronic has been a supplier of fiber optic submarine communication cables since the 1990s. Combining the know-how, geographical footprint, and product portfolio of Rochester Cable in the U.S. and Hexatronic submarine business in Sweden provides exciting opportunities for the future,” said Hexatronic Group CEO Henrik Larsson Lyon.

Last modified on November 7, 2022

Bridon-Bekaert Ropes Group (BBRG) announced plans to close their manufacturing plant in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, to improve the business portfolio of the European rope activities.

A press release said that Bekaert has decided to consolidate the BBRG’s European ropes manufacturing platform in the U.K. and phase out the production activities in Gelsenkirchen by the end of 2023. The business portfolio of the European rope activities will further be improved by exiting lower-margin market segments and focusing on the segments with growth perspectives and higher value creation potential.

The competitive position of the Gelsenkirchen plant has been under pressure and the current business level no longer provides the ability to generate a financially sustainable performance. The decision to close the loss-making plant will affect 77 employees.

All European steel rope manufacturing activities will be centralized in the Doncaster and Newcastle production sites to ensure long-term competitiveness by better leveraging efficiencies and by improving the business portfolio. “The management regrets the personal consequences of the restructuring decisions and will diligently evaluate the options to mitigate the social impact for the affected employees,” the release said.

Bridon-Bekaert The Ropes Group (BBRG), was formed in 2016 by the addition of Bridon Group to Bekaert’s steel ropes and advanced cords businesses. The entity has a global footprint that includes 16 manufacturing locations (including Gelsenkirchen), providing strong positions in the U.S. and Europe, Latin America, Canada and Australia.

Last modified on November 7, 2022

LS Cable & System announced on Oct. 20 that it has won a cable contract valued at approximately $166 million to supply the Boreas wind farm in the North Sea of the U.K., the largest ever order from Europe received by a South Korean cable company.

Per the announcement, the Boreas offshore wind farm is being developed by Sweden’s state-owned power company Vattenfall, near Norfolk in the United Kingdom. When completed in 2026, it will produce about 1.3 GW of electric power, equivalent to one nuclear power plant.

LS Cable & System will supply 320 kV ultra-high voltage direct current (HVDC) submarine and underground cables for the wind farm. It will mark the company’s first supply of HVDC cables that use cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) as an insulating material.

XLPE cables are becoming the mainstream in renewable energy projects in Europe and North America due to their convenient installation and connection and easy maintenance. However, so far, only a few companies have succeeded in developing them. The latest order is expected to help LS Cable & System accelerate its penetration of the XLPE cable market. The company plans to expedite its market expansion in Europe as well as North America and Asia where demand for XLPE cables is growing rapidly.

Last modified on November 7, 2022

Corning Incorporated announced that it is expanding its manufacturing capacity by building a new cable manufacturing facility in Gilbert, Arizona.
A press release said that the expansion will help Corning meet the needs of a long-term customer, the largest U.S. fiber internet provider, as it expands its fiber service. Corning will locate the new plant in greater Phoenix region, adding approximately 250 jobs and extending Corning’s strategic investments in optical fiber, cable, and connectivity solutions to meet record demand.
The new facility is Corning’s latest in a series of investments in fiber and cable manufacturing totaling more than $500 million since 2020, the release said. These investments, supported by customer commitments, nearly double Corning’s ability to serve the U.S. cable market and connect more people and communities. As public and private investments in broadband, 5G, and the cloud are accelerating a large, multi-year wave of growth for fiber-based networks, Corning “is uniquely positioned to support these network builds.”
The Arizona facility, expected to open in 2024, will be the industry’s western-most U.S. manufacturing site for optical cable. It will enable Corning to serve growing demand in the western U.S. and Canada. Separately, AT&T announced that it is deploying fiber internet service to the Mesa, Arizona, area, with service expected to be available to Mesa residents in 2023.
To build and deploy these networks, the industry will need another 850,000 workers through 2025. Corning and AT&T created the Fiber Optic Training Program, focused on equipping thousands of technicians with the skills critical to designing, installing, and maintaining a growing fiber network. The initial class is currently underway in North Carolina, and the program aims to train 50,000 American workers over the next five years.

Last modified on October 5, 2022

The Prysmian Group announced that it has reached a key technology milestone in power transmission: the successful development and testing of the first 525 kV extruded submarine full cable system for High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) applications.
The breakthrough will enable a massive increase of the maximum transmission capacity of bi-pole systems up to more than 2.5 GW, which is more than double the value achieved with 320 kV DC systems currently in service. The one-year prequalification testing was carried out per international standards including CIGRE TB-496 and witnessed by a third-party certification body.
“This new milestone confirms our commitment and prominent role in the development of power grids infrastructure, key for the energy transition,” said Prysmian Group CEO Valerio Battista.
HVDC cable links are key components of sustainable energy systems, to transmit large bulks of electricity over long distances, often across or between countries. This achievement will put Prysmian Group in a unique position to support forthcoming tenders for submarine interconnectors.
“On the heels of the successful industrialization of 525 kV HVDC underground cables for the 3 German HVDC links projects, we are ready to extend this innovative technology for submarine cable systems to enable our customers in the continuous effort towards the energy transition by further reducing the costs of offshore wind and minimizing the environmental impact,” said Hakan Ozmen, EVP Projects Business Unit.
The company leveraged its in-depth knowledge of materials and the capability to improve manufacturing processes to optimize a reliable industrial process with strict technological parameters and providing an entire system of cable and accessories. That includes flexible factory joints, rigid repair joints and sea-land joints with the best dielectric properties.

Last modified on October 5, 2022

Russia’s EVRAZ PLC is seeking to divest the holdings of EVRAZ North America (ENA), which include Rocky Mountain Steel Mill, a plant in Pueblo, Colorado that produces wire rod.
The scope of the story is far larger as a key investor in the parent company is Roman Abramovich, a Russian billionaire who was on the list of oligarchs linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin. EVRAZ Plc, which purchased Pueblo’s steel mills in 2007, was hit with sanctions by the U.K. in May in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
ENA, based in Chicago, Illinois, employs more than 1,400 people in the U.S. and 1,800 in Canada, with production sites that include Pueblo, one in Portland, Oregon, and four in Canada, per the company’s website.
A report in The Pueblo Chieftain said that a letter sent by EVRAZ to ENA employees said that the “current geopolitical landscape has created a heightened level of uncertainty” over the last five months that has led to “unique challenges” in its day-to-day business operations. “However, we are in a position to change course,” the letter said. “In response to today’s reality, and to best position our organization for long-term success, EVRAZ plc, the parent of ENA, has made the difficult decision to begin a sales process of the North American business.”

Last modified on October 5, 2022

Barnes Group announced that it plans to close the production operations at its Engineered Components facility in Bristol, Connecticut, which has a manufacturing focus of producing transmission springs and washers.
Per multiple reports, the demand for such products has declined as there is more production of electric vehicles that do not need those parts. The company also cited supply chain issues and inflation as factors.
The plant, which has some 95 employees, is expected to be completely closed by mid-2023. Work performed at the facility will either be transferred to other Engineered Components manufacturing locations or permanently discontinued.

Last modified on October 5, 2022

Outokumpu has agreed to sell the majority of its stainless-steel long products business to the Marcegaglia Group, an Italian entity that owns some 30 steel plants.
A press release said that Outokumpu has signed an agreement to divest the majority of its long products business operations to Marcegaglia Steel Group, a leading industrial group in the steel processing sector. Outokumpu will now focus on its core business of flat stainless-steel products.
The long products operations to be sold represent about 8% of the Outokumpu Group’s sales in 2021. They include: melting, rod and bar operations in Sheffield, U.K.; bar operations in Richburg, U.S.; and a wire rod mill in Fagersta, Sweden. The transaction does not include Outokumpu Long Products AB operations in Degerfors and Storfors, Sweden. Approximately 650 employees in Sheffield, Richburg and Fagersta will transfer to the buyer as a part of the transaction.
“This divestment marks the accomplishment of the turnaround program for the Long Products business in the past two years,” said Outokumpu President and CEO Heikki Malinen. “The sale is a natural step for Outokumpu in line with our strategy to focus on our core business, stainless-steel flat products.”
Outokumpu expects to complete the divestment by the end of this year. Outokumpu Long Products AB’s units in Degerfors and Storfors in Sweden continue their operations for now as part of the Outokumpu Group, and different options are to be evaluated for the future of the units.

Last modified on October 5, 2022

Ravicab Cables Private Limited announced that it has acquired Leoni Cable Solutions (India) Private Limited (LCSI), a subsidiary of Leoni AG located in Bengaluru.
A press release said that the acquisition of India’s LCSI “provides an expansion in market reach, extension in product range and finds a perfect synergy with the growth aspirations of Ravicab.” For the acquired business, this means a clear perspective for future development in terms of investment and growth. LCSI, which opened in 2013 with a production area of around 15,000 sq m, had revenues of approximately €25.5 million in 2021 and a workforce of 190 people. The plant manufactures wire and cable for domestic, industrial, signaling applications, and specialty markets.
Ravicab reported that with the LCSI acquisition, it has leverage in the specialty products business of renewable energy and railways with E-Beam cable. Ravicab, has also inherited LCSI’s processes and systems for manufacturing specialized cables, which include iconic brands like Kerpen and Icon.
The sale was part of Leoni’s Wire & Cable Solutions Division (WCS), which it has been divesting. “This sale is another step in the process of gradually selling the WCS division and concentrating our business on the Wiring Systems division (WSD).”
Per Leoni, the currently largest remaining unit in the WCS division is its Business Group Wire Products & Solutions (BG PS), a relatively small unit. “For this unit, too, we are constantly reviewing the optimal setup and the best possible future ownership structure.”
The two central units of the WCS division were the Business Groups Industrial Solutions and Automotive Cable Solutions. In other news, Leoni reports that its two Ukrainian plants—one in the Lviv region and the other in the Ivano-Frankivsk region—have continued to produce wiring harnesses, despite the challenges posted by Russia’s invasion of the country on Feb. 24.

Last modified on October 5, 2022

hips it is issuing for 2022, each of which will receive $2,500. Below are the winners.
Alyssa Hicks is the daughter of William Jason Hicks, technical support engineer, Gem Gravure Co., Inc. She is attending Jacksonville State University, where she is majoring in family and consumer sciences.
Owen LaRoss is the son of Michael LaRoss, corporate controller, Whitney Blake Co. He is attending Merrimack College, with an undeclared major.
Timothy McComiskey is the son of Thomas McComiskey, vice president of engineering, MGS Group. He is attending the University of Rhode Island, where he is majoring in pharmacy.
Andrew Person is the son of Kim Person, purchasing, Insulated Wire. He is attending SUNY College at Oneonta, where he is majoring in biology.
Ashley Potvin is the granddaughter of Kenneth Potvin, vice president of sales, Teknikor. She is attending Quinnipiac University, where she is majoring in public relations.
Aidan Tomaz is the grandson of John Tomaz, vice president, Wardwell Braiding Machine Co. He plans to attend Louisville University, where he is majoring in sports management.

Last modified on October 5, 2022