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Germany’s SIKORA AG has started construction of the company’s new production building in Bremen-Mahndorf, with its executive board laying the foundation stone on Dec. 12, 2017, at a ceremony attended by both staff and business partners.

A press release said that the new building includes 7,000 sq m of space for production and logistics, more than triple the capacity of the building it replaces. "The expansion at the production location Bremen is a strategic future investment," said company CEO Dr. Christian Frank, who explained that it will further SIKORA’s goals in further growth and global competitiveness.

The building, scheduled to be completed by November, is being erected on the site of the old production building, which had been demolished. Production had been moved to a building 400 m away in order to maintain short ways to the management, administration and development team. Once completed, the new site—which meshes with two existing buildings—will integrate lean production concepts for an efficient production and have a contemporary design concept, with areas for communication and creativity. The four floors offer more space for efficient production and logistics as well as perfect conditions for communication, creativity and innovation.

A key driver for the project has been the expansion of SIKORA’s scope in measuring and testing, sporting and inspection equipment for wire and cable, optical fiber, hose and tube and plastics, Frank said. As the product portfolios increased, "we reached the limits of our capacity with the existing building," he said, noting that the new building will offer 350% more space.

Equally important is that the building design will integrate modern lean production concepts. An intensive planning phase was implemented to optimize the different processes, from material flows to production to shipping. "The result is a more efficient and innovative production to ensure highest product quality as well as delivery reliability," Frank said. He added that SIKORA has been expanding its workforce, and the new site helps attract qualified employees.

Last modified on January 22, 2018

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs has signed a deal with the Vocus Group for the initial stages of a new undersea cable system between the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Australia, displacing Huawei, which had been originally chosen but resulted in concerns over security matters.

Per multiple media reports, a statement from the Vocus Group—which did not mention Huawei—said that the agreement is a $2.8 million deal for conducting a scoping study for the design, construction and procurement of the submarine cable system, the first step of the project. Vocus designed and developed the North-West Cable System and the Australia-Singapore Cable, the latter project was still under construction while the former project was up and running.

As previously reported in WJI, the Solomon Islands and China’s Huawei announced last year that they had signed a contract for the prosubsea ject. That news was not well received as Huawei had been banned from tendering for the National Broadband Network in 2012 because of security concerns. In Australia, nearly six years ago, Huawei was denied any role in supplying equipment to the country’s national broadband network project, following advice by ASIS, one of Australia’s spy agencies.

Last modified on January 22, 2018

With its focus literally in "the cloud," Google announced its role in three subsea cables projects: Curie, a private cable connecting Chile to Los Angeles; Havfrue, a consortium cable connecting the United States to Denmark and Ireland; and the Hong Kong-Guam Cable system (HK-G), a consortium cable interconnecting major subsea communication hubs in Asia.

Google, which notes that it has invested $30 billion in infrastructure the last three years as it continues to expand the regions it serves, reports that it is part of 11 cable projects that are either planned or under construction.

With Curie, named after scientist Marie Curie, Google will become the first major non-telecom company to build a private intercontinental cable. It will serve Google users across Latin America. The four fiber-pair network to be supplied by TE SubCom will span over 10,000 km, linking Los Angeles to Valparaiso, Chile, per a report at Teleography.com. It will also include a branching unit for future connectivity to Panama."

TE SubCom, a business of TE Connectivity, Ltd., will also be the supplier for the Havfrue cable project, one of the other two cable systems. Other participants include Aqua Comms, Bulk Infrastructure, Facebook, and others. The undersea cable network between the U.S. and Northern Europe would be ready for service in the last quarter of 2019. It will offer a cross-sectional cable capacity of 108 Tbps, scalable to higher capacities via future generation Submarine Line Terminal Equipment (SLTE) technology. The cable will run from New Jersey to the Jutland Peninsula of Denmark. A branch will add connectivity to County Mayo, Ireland, and optional branches to Northern and Southern Norway can also be added.

At its website, Aqua Comms reported that the Havfrue subsea cable will be the first new undersea cable in nearly two decades to traverse the North Atlantic to connect mainland Northern Europe to the U.S. The company said that it would serve as system operator. It plans to market its portion of the Hafvrue submarine cable as America Europe Connect-2 (AEC-2); it operates America Europe Connect-1 (AEC-1, also known as AEConnect). Route survey operations for the system have begun.

The second consortium venture, HK-G, saw construction begin last April of the 3,900-km undersea cable from NEC Corporation. It will feature 100 Gbps optical transmission capabilities, and have a design capacity of more than 48 Tbps. It is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019. HK-G will land in Tseung Kwan O (TKO) in Hong Kong and in Piti, Guam, at the Teleguam Holdings LLC (GTA) cable landing station, the same facility which being used for SEA-US.

Last modified on January 22, 2018
The Wire & Cable Manufacturers Alliance, Inc., (WCMA) announced the latest winners of its Distinguished Career Award and updated changes in the organization.

A press release said that the recipients of the 2018 Distinguished Career Award, will be honored April 7 at the 34rd annual Awards Dinner and Investiture Ceremony at the Hartford Convention Center. They include the following people: Rick Antic, vice president business development, Champlain Cable Corp.; Melissa Delargy, vice president operations, Quabbin Wire & Cable; Harvey McDowell, Division VP, strategic business leader, Berk-Tek Nexans; David Nestigen, chairman/CEO, IEWC Corp.; Steve Ruth, senior vice president, Freeport McMoRan Sales Inc.; Sheldon Scott, president and CEO, Whitney Blake Co.; and Art Yaroch, president, industrial cable group, Belden (retired).

WCMA also reported the following organizational changes. The Alliance’s new president is Robert Canny, president of TE Wire & Cable, who succeeds Tom J. Rosen, Wire & Cable Consulting, LLC, who is Past President. Other officers include WCMA Vice President Michael Weiss, president, Whitmor Wirenetics, and WCMA Treasurer Scott Harden.

WCMA welcomed two new board members: Susan Welsh, president and CEO of Rubadue Wire; and Virginia Hauser, vice president, Freeport McMoran Sales. It also thanked two exiting board members: Dennis Chalk, president, Marmon Engineering Wire & Cable; and James George, Global Business Manager, Chase Corp.

Continuing board members include Bill Reichert, president, Champlain Cable Corp.; Gary Stanitis, vice president sales, Daikin USA; Daniel DeLisle, VP/GM Mexichem Specialty Compounds; Ron Reed, president, Lloyd & Bouvier; and Paul Gemelli, executive vice president, Gem Gravure Co.

For more information on the April 7 awards dinner or the WCMA, go to www.wcmainc.org.
Last modified on January 19, 2018
The U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC) has set final anti-dumping (AD) duties for the import of carbon and alloy steel wire rod originating from Ukraine and South Africa.

A DoC press release said exporters from South Africa and Ukraine sold wire rod in the U.S. at 135.46 to 142.26%, and 34.98 to 44.03% less than fair value, respectively. As a result, DoC will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to collect cash deposits from importers of wire rod from South Africa, and Ukraine based on these final rates.

In 2016, imports of carbon and alloy steel wire rod from South Africa and Ukraine were valued at an estimated $7.1 million and $55 million, respectively. In 2016, exports of carbon and alloy steel wire rod from Ukraine to the United States more than doubled in physical terms compared to 2015, to 146,470 tonnes and grew by 70.9% in monetary terms, to $55.02 million. Shipments from South Africa, on the contrary, more than halved in physical terms, to 20,000 metric tons and decreased by 58.3% in monetary terms, to $7.05 million.

The petitioners in the case were Gerdau Ameristeel US Inc. (FL), Nucor Corporation (NC), Keystone Consolidated Industries (TX), and Charter Steel (WI).

If the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) makes affirmative final injury determinations, DoC will issue AD orders. If the ITC makes negative final determinations of injury, the investigations will be terminated and no orders will be issued.

"While the United States values its relationship with South Africa and Ukraine even our closest friends must play by the rules," said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
Last modified on January 18, 2018
Wire and Plastic Machinery Corporation reports that it has been chosen by The Marmon Group to liquidate the assets of the closed Aetna Insulated Wire plant in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

A press release said that some inventory highlights include: three Davis Standard CCV lines; four Davis Standard extrusion lines, three Bartell BX-armoring lines, two planetary cablers, two rigid stranders, a Haefely Trench 1000 KVA Hi Voltage tester and a 13-die Bekaert rod breakdown line. An assortment of test equipment, payoffs, take-ups, curing ovens, rewind lines and reels is also available.

All equipment is being sold "as is, where is." WPMC will make arrangements as needed for onsite viewing of all equipment. For more details, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the company at tel. 860-583-4646.
Last modified on January 17, 2018
Wire and Plastic Machinery Corporation reports that it has been chosen by The Marmon Group to liquidate the assets of the closed Aetna Insulated Wire plant in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

A press release said that some inventory highlights include: three Davis Standard CCV lines; four Davis Standard extrusion lines, three Bartell BX-armoring lines, two planetary cablers, two rigid stranders, a Haefely Trench 1000 KVA Hi Voltage tester and a 13-die Bekaert rod breakdown line. An assortment of test equipment, payoffs, take-ups, curing ovens, rewind lines and reels is also available.

All equipment is being sold "as is, where is." WPMC will make arrangements as needed for onsite viewing of all equipment. For more details, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the company at tel. 860-583-4646.
Last modified on January 17, 2018
Reliance Communications (RCom) announced plans to lay a 68,000-km undersea cable, estimated to cost $600 million, to carry data across Europe and Asia. 

Per multiple media reports, the system, which will connect its base in India with Italy to the West and Hong Kong on the East, is expected to treble the revenues in five years for its wholly-owned subsidiary Global Cloud Exchange, which is laying the cable. The cable, projected to be operational by the third quarter of 2020, will have  revenue potential of $1 billion per year, RCom Chief Executive Bill Barney told reporters.

The new cable, which was described as being able to reach more than “75% cent of the youth in the globe,”  will increase RCom’s capacity tenfold. The financing will come from partners, which at this point number six, including Alibaba, that account for $300 million. The investor fold could increase to as many as 30. Barney said that RCom expects to get over $700 million through such pre-sales as against the cost of $600 million.

The reports that RCom, saddled by debt, has struggled in recent years, recently exited its consumer-facing wireless business to focus on the enterprise segment.

Barney said the company expects a spurt in IT and telecom activity in the country over the next five to ten years, due to which it is betting on the cable business.
Last modified on January 17, 2018
ABB announced that it has signed an agreement to sell its Huntersville, North Carolina, cable factory to Southwire Company, LLC, for an undisclosed price.

A press release said that the sale of the plant is in line with ABB’s Next Level strategy to continuously optimize its business portfolio. The 240,000-sq-ft plant produces high-voltage and extra-high-voltage underground transmission cables, ranging from 230kV to 400kV. ABB noted that it will continue to produce high-voltage land and subsea cables from its manufacturing facility in Karlskrona, Sweden. ABB and Southwire will also pursue a business partnership to leverage the facility for the land cable portion of certain HVDC projects.

“We remain fully committed to the North American market and to the high-voltage cables business. The decision to divest this factory is in line with our Next Level strategy and focus on optimizing our operations, exploring new business models and building partnerships,” said Claudio Facchin, president of ABB’s Power Systems division. “We are pleased that the Huntersville facility will be in the hands of Southwire, a well-established, innovation-focused company and look forward to building on our new business relationship.”

Per a past ABB release, the company opened the $90 million plant, designed to have some 130 employees, in 2012. The high-voltage cable production was to target markets that include wind and solar installations. “The plant has a distinctive 131 meter extrusion tower, built to allow the insulation material to cool symmetrically around the metal cable conductor. It is ABB’s first high-voltage cable plant outside Europe, and will manufacture high-voltage transmission cables for both AC and DC applications.”

The acquisition, which is expected to close in the third quarter, results in Southwire adding extra high-voltage cable products to its portfolio and expands its capacity to produce high-voltage cable, a market in which the company notes it is already a leading manufacturer.“We are committed to growing in the global wire and cable market. Today, we take another step toward that goal as we further expand our manufacturing capacity and expand our lineup of products that are made in America for new and existing customers, both here and around the world,” Southwire President and CEO Stu Thorn said. “In addition, today’s agreement paves the way for us to develop a strategic relationship with a global company like ABB, a recognized leader in power and automation technologies.”

Located on a 20-acre site in Commerce Station Business Park, the Huntersville plant fits nicely with Southwire’s family of manufacturing facilities and customer service centers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Honduras and China, the Southwire release said. “Southwire is a U.S.-based manufacturer expanding on U.S. soil,” Thorn said. “We are building a business that will be sustainable into future generations by continually evolving to meet the changing needs of our industry.”
Last modified on January 11, 2018
ACINOX, a Cuban company that manufactures stainless steel, has signed a contract valued at US$30 million with a Russian company to modernize its production of wire rod.

A report at spanacom.com said that ACINOX signed an agreed with Russia’s YUMZ signed the contract to modernize a wire rod manufacturing plant at the 35th International Fair of Havana, (FIHAV 2017). The deal calls for the supply of a complete wire rolling line, including the furnace, as well as machinery to produce the wire rod at a plant in the eastern Cuban province of Las Tunas.

The story cited ACINOX Director Enrique Pazos as telling the state Cuban News Agency that the investment will allow up to 177,000 tons annual production once the project starts operating at the beginning of 2020. YUMZ will subcontract a "highly qualified and experienced Italian entity," which will supply 60% of the equipment required for the investment, he said. The Russian company will also participate in the process of commissioning the updated line and will be responsible for the training of Cuban personnel will work in the production.

The story said that Russia was one of the 63 countries that attended FIHAV. Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Georgy Kalamanov, who heads the delegation of his country to the Cuban Fair, said that there are other projects are also planned to expand collaboration in the chemical industry, to modernize the light steel industry, and areas of maritime transport and agriculture. Russia was described as the fourth most active partner of Cuba, behind China, Venezuela and Spain. Of note, it said that, "In addition to strengthening cooperation economic-three years ago, Russia canceled 90% of the debt incurred by the island...as both countries support each other in the political arena."
Last modified on January 11, 2018
The organizers of Fastener Fair Mexico announced that the event, held three times in Mexico City, will move this year to Guadalajara "to better serve the Mexican marketplace in need of industrial fastener and fixing solutions."

A press release from Mack Brooks Exhibitions, Inc., said that the 2018 event will be hosted June 20-21 at the Expo Guadalajara. "We produce Fastener Fair in seven countries and this will be the first time we bring this event to Guadalajara, a city full of opportunities," said Mack Brooks Executive Vice President Melissa Magestro. "We are expecting to attract over 2000 industrial fastener buyers, engineers and distributors. It is a great opportunity to connect with fastener buyers and distributors at Latin America’s only dedicated industrial fastener exhibition."

The event also includes an educational component. Fastener Fair Mexico 2017 hosted a technology conference that was well received, the release said. The rooms had good attendance for education and training for the fastener supply chain that addressed end users, distributors and wholesalers.

Per the release, Expo Guadalajara is the largest exhibition venue in all of Mexico. Guadalajara is the capital and most populous city of the State of Jalisco; it is the second largest urban area in Mexico and the 10th largest in Latin America with more than five million inhabitants. Classed as a gamma city since 2010, it is one of the 120 most competitive cities in the world.

The release said that Fastener Fair Mexico 2017 was attended by over 2,225 attendees from Mexican manufacturing industries that included automotive, aerospace, construction, mechanical and consumer electronics along with fastener distributors and wholesalers.

The second Fastener Fair Italy will be held in Milan on Sept. 26-27; the third Fastener Fair Turkey will take place in 2018; Fastener Fair will be held in Cleveland, Ohio, in the U.S. for the first time on April 11-12, 2018; and in Jakarta, Indonesia, on March 7-9.

For more information, go to www.fastenerfair.com.
Last modified on January 11, 2018
ArcelorMittal has finalized the sale of Georgetown Steel to U.K.-based Liberty House, which announced plans to reopen the mill and resume production this spring.

A press release said that Liberty House—which is part of the GFG Alliance, a global metals, industrials and energy group owned by the British Gupta family—plans to re-hire 125 former employees and gradually increase the workforce to 250. The group is targeting a major share of the U.S. market for home-produced wire rod, demand for which is projected to grow substantially during 2018.

Of note, the release said that the purchase was "the first in a series of strategic North American acquisitions and new projects targeted by the group founded and run by British industrialist, Sanjeev Gupta." The company is already in discussions regarding the acquisition of other major U.S. steel assets and new greenfield projects, which it expects to announce this year.

Georgetown Steel, based in Georgetown, South Carolina. has a storied history. Founded in 1969 by German industrialist Willy Korf, it one time had as many as 1,500 employees. It had multiple owners, including the government of Kuwait in 1984 and the International Steel Group in 2004. It was bought in 2005 by Lakshmi Mittal. The mill closed in 2009, and following the Mittal merger with Arcelor, it was reopened by Arcelor Mittal in 2011, only to be closed in May 2015.

The 600,000-sq-ft plant, which has wire rod capacity of 680,000 metric tons, will resume serving the construction and automotive markets. The release said that the plan is to re-start melting and rolling this spring "as the first step in GFG’s ambitious investment plans for the American steel industry."

"Securing the Georgetown furnace and mill is a major milestone for us, marking our first major step in the USA," said Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of the GFG Alliance. "The melting and rolling facilities here give us a formidable entry to the American market and provide a strong platform for expansion. We see major prospects for the metals industry here." He added that the company plans to employ its GREENSTEEL sustainable strategy that it already uses in the U.K. and Australia.

Gupta said that customers have been in contact, and that "we’re keen to get back up and running as quickly as possible." He added that support from the town council, the state government and the union was important in making the deal work. "We look forward to rebuilding the business and bringing quality industrial employment back to the site and to the local and regional supply chain."

John Brett, president and CEO of ArcelorMittal USA, said that the goal throughout the process has been to maintain the Georgetown steelmaking operation. "While bittersweet for ArcelorMittal, we are hopeful that today’s announcement is a celebration for Liberty Steel and GFG Alliance, the United Steelworkers and the Georgetown community. We appreciate the patience of all of our stakeholders while we finalized this important transaction."

In a report in the SouthStrandNews, Gupta compared the Georgetown mill to Liberty House’s first steel plant in Newport, South Wales. "The first mill in the U.K. will always be important to us. ... That is where our British journey started," he said. "It was a shutdown plant as well," he added. "And we restarted it, and it’s a great success now. And that led to everything else we’ve done in the U.K. So Georgetown is the foundation of what we will do in the U.S."

At its website, Liberty Steel notes that has seven specialist businesses manufacturing steel products such as ingots, billets, blooms, slabs, bars and narrow strip, as well as hot rolled coil, pipes and tubes, structural hollow sections, plates, de-bar, wire, rod and more.
Last modified on January 11, 2018