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NAI, a designer and manufacturer of custom interconnect solutions, announces the opening of a manufacturing plant in Mexico that will produce interconnect devices, including cable assemblies, harnesses, and box builds.

A press release said that the primary purpose of the 38,000-sq-ft plant in Saltillo, Coahuila, is to provide local support to NAI’s existing and new customers in the nearby region, as well as to improve logistics with closer proximity. The investment will also create manufacturing flexibility in Mexico, including the ability to create dual capacity in multiple plant locations. This new-dual sourcing capability offers customers an alternative to maintain continuity of supply during challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic. The site can also be expanded.

The products to be made serve core markets of industrial, medical and telecom providers. Cable assemblies typically include fiber optic and/or copper cables (and may also include power cables), with connectors attached at one or both ends. They are used to interconnect different types of equipment and instruments. Several hundred SKUs will be initially transferred to this Saltillo plant and set up for immediate production. Operations are scheduled to begin in February 2021.

Last modified on January 4, 2021

Bekaert announced that it is taking a number of structural changes in response to the impact that Covid-19 has had on economies and demand patterns.

A press release said that the Belgium-based company will reorganize its global engineering activities, several functional department areas serving the Group’s global or local business needs, and a number of support and technical roles in the production plants in Zwevegem. “The Group will develop stronger knowledge centers and invest further in shared services to consolidate expertise and activities in business areas that serve the global footprint. This may include decisions to relocate or outsource such activities. Bekaert also continually evaluates the set-up and usage of its footprint to drive value creation.”

The restructuring plan would affect 160 jobs in Belgium, and the intended implementation is scheduled as of 2021 onwards. For Bekaert Engineering (Ingelmunster), the goal is for it to become a global knowledge center for the development of innovative equipment solutions. The design, service and project management teams will focus on the implementation of new and digital technologies and Equipment Lifecycle Management (ELM). The plan includes the discontinuation of the workshop activities in Belgium and the move of the expertise activities with a prototype lab from Ingelmunster to Deerlijk. These changes would affect 95 jobs (63 operators and 32 white collars and managers).

For functional areas (Zwevegem), Bekaert is developing stronger centers of excellence across Group Services,

accelerating the adoption of digital capabilities in the areas of operational, commercial and administrative process excellence to create new value for the business and the customers. This would lead to a reduction of 46 white collars and managers in Belgium. For production plants (Zwevegem), the goal is to realign and regroup support and technical functions. The new set-up would affect 19 white collars and managers in the respective plants.

The company noted that its Belgian engineering organization and production sites have 50 vacancies, and that applications from employees in the above-mentioned, affected roles would be considered.

Last modified on January 4, 2021

Nexans has won a contract worth approximately €20 million to supply specialized nuclear cables for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in the U.K.

A press release said that over a six-year contract, Nexans will design and manufacture a total of 3,000 km of cable for Hinkley Point C, which will be the first nuclear power plant to be constructed in the U.K. in a quarter century. Nexans will supply a variety of custom-designed, nuclear-rated cables, including medium voltage (MV) and low voltage (LV) power, control and instrumentation cables for pumps, valves, safety systems, power supplies and control room monitoring. They will be installed inside and outside of the nuclear containment area. The company’s ENERGEN NUC halogen-free cables comply with the Euroclass requirements for reaction to fire. They will be manufactured at the company’s factory in Mehun-sur-Yèvre, France.

Hinkley Point C, under construction in the county of Somerset, marks a significant milestone in the revitalization of the U.K.’s nuclear power sector. With two EPR reactors producing 3,200 megawatts of power for the national grid, the plant will be capable of supplying some six million homes with low-carbon electricity. This will make a major contribution to the U.K.’s move to net zero and will offset 9 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year over the plant’s 60-year lifespan.

Last modified on January 4, 2021

LS Cable & System has inked a five-year contract with Danish energy firm Orsted to supply high-voltage export cables for offshore wind farms.

A press release said that the exact size of the deal is unknown, but media reports estimated that it could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. LS Cable & System has participated in multiple offshore wind projects with Orsted. It previously supplied cables to the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Hornsea One and Two, in England, and it will supply subsea cables for the Greater Changhua 1 & 2a offshore wind farms in Taiwan.

Orsted is set to build a 1.6-GW offshore wind farm project in the waters off Incheon, South Korea, which Orsted Asia-Pacific President Matthias Bausenwein said would offer massive opportunities for local suppliers. The offshore wind farm will be installed with 100-140 wind turbines and be able to generate electricity for 1.3 million households annually. The project supports Korea’s Green New Deal initiative, which aims to put up 12 GW of offshore wind power capacity by 2030.

“The trend of investing in renewable energy will continue, even during the current Covid-19 situation,” said Myung Roe-hyun, president and CEO of LS Cable & System. “We are delighted to continue this cooperation with the leading company in offshore wind energy.”

Last modified on January 4, 2021

Madison, Connecticut, USA – December 14, 2020 – The Wire Association International (WAI), Inc. announces that its flagship trade exposition, Interwire, and its concurrent annual meeting have been postponed from the original May 11-13, 2021 timeframe and rescheduled to October 26-27, 2021 at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC), Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

WAI’s Board of Directors voted unanimously on December 10, 2020, to change the dates after discussion on the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the expected availability of vaccines and therapeutics, as well as the subsequent and anticipated lift of travel restrictions.

Commenting on the change, WAI’s First Vice President Thomas Heberling said, “We know that Interwire is important to the industry, and we are committed to producing a safe event. Southwire has been a strong supporter of Interwire and WAI, and I’d like to encourage decision makers at all the manufacturers and suppliers to keep an open mind. I’m expecting the months to come to show more promise, and I’m hoping that they will be accompanied by more renewed support for the industry to again meet in Atlanta.”

The new format will entail a shift from two-and-a-half days to two days, likely with longer exhibition hours.

WAI’s Executive Director Steven Fetteroll said, “Our staff has been working with the GWCC and area hotels to accommodate the shift and secure desirable dates. Details that will affect both exhibitors and attendees will be released as available through the event website: www.interwire21.com and in Wire Journal International.”

The 2021 staging of Interwire will mark 40 years since its inception. Hosted biennially, Interwire is an international trade event that includes exhibiting companies, speakers, and visitors from more than 50 countries.

The Wire Association International is a not-for-profit association with nearly 1,800 individual members in 50 countries. 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 and the Wire Journal International Reference Guide.

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.

Last modified on December 15, 2020

BSRIA projects that the global structured cabling market will decline 12% in 2020, from US$6.6 billion to $5.8 billion, and that consumption is not likely to return to 2019 levels until 2022.

A press release said that the first half of the year saw the largest fall, with severe disruption caused by national lockdowns. In some instances, the worst effects were felt in the second half. The report, which covers 10 countries and four regions, was updated to account for the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There were significant variations between countries, typically related to the general economic impact of the pandemic,” the release said. “There have also been various government support policies for the country economies in general or for specific sectors, such as buildings.” Additionally, vertical markets have fared significantly differently from one another. “Sectors such as travel, hospitality and retail (have been) especially badly hit, while healthcare, data centers and in some countries, education, remain more buoyant.”

Copper cable and connectivity suffered more than fiber did, reports BSRIA. Copper sales declined by 15% globally, with a range of 14% and 16% holding consistently across main regions of the globe. BSRIA attributes this decline to “a severe disruption in non-residential construction with the delay or cancellation of many projects.”

Fiber, on the other hand, declined 7% but with significant variations from region to region, “from a stable market in Asia-Pacific to a drop of 14% in America,” BSRIA stated. “In countries where fiber sales held up, this was often supported by increased investment in data centers partly driven by the effects of the pandemic in driving demand for web services.”

For more details, contact BSRIA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., www.bsria.co.uk.

Last modified on December 7, 2020

NKT announced that it is part of a group effort to develop the prototype for what will be the world’s longest superconducting power cable. The project, first announced in 2019, seeks to develop and supply a record-length superconducting cable for use in Munich, Germany.

A press release from NKT said that Stadtwerke München Infrastrukur has now started the first stage development of the project. Called the “SuperLink,” the proposed 12-km-long underground power link would be the longest superconducting power cable solution in the world. It said that the ambitious project, which has seven partners, is an important indication about the future potential of superconducting power cables. The other partners are Linde plc, THEVA, the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

“We are proud to take part in the early stages of the development,” said NKT Chief Technology Officer Anders Jensen. He noted that SWM and Link where Stadtwerke München and Stadtwerke München Infrastruktur are taking a significant step to leverage superconducting power cables. “It is important to continue to develop solutions to support the transition to renewable energy and the ambitions of the German Energiewende. In NKT, we see superconducting power cables as a part of the future to ensure optimized access to clean energy in larger cities such as Munich.”

The design of the superconducting power cables is extremely compact compared to conventional cable technology and can become a key enabler of the transition to renewable energy in urban areas due to the high power-to-size ratio. The SuperLink is expected to have a power rating of 500 MW and will be installed between two substations in Munich using existing ducts to keep the construction work at a minimum.

A fact sheet also noted that SuperLink will have a power rating of 500 MW and a voltage level of 110 kV; that the plan is to install it in existing ducts; the superconducting cable will be cooled to minus 200ºC in a closed circuit with the environmental harmless refrigerant nitrogen; and it will have a cooling system with redundant back-up coolers.

“With 1.5 million residents, Munich is a great city to develop and live-test the possibilities of superconducting power cables to expand the power grids in urban areas that will be an integral part of the system,” the release said.

Nexans’ new Cable Laying Vessel, the CLV Nexans Aurora, is one step closer to completion, with the launching of the vessel being built by Norway shipbuilder Ulstein Verft.

A press release said that the 149.9-m long and 31-m wide vessel will be working in the offshore renewables market, installing subsea cables including cables connecting offshore wind farms to the grid and interconnector systems. The hull arrived at Ulstein Verft in June, and was positioned in the roofed and controlled environment of the yard’s dock hall. During this period, various work tasks have been accomplished, including electrical installations, insulation work, installation of the remaining main equipment and cable lay equipment, etc.

The vessel will be positioned quayside at Ulstein Verft, where it will enter the last outfitting and start-up commissioning phases. The vessel boasts a concentric, split basket 10,000Te carousel, dual cable lay capabilities, utilization of separate Capstan or Tensioner firing lines, and should be able to complete operations in severe weather conditions.

The release said that the Aurora will be “the flagship in the Nexans fleet.” The vessel’s first assignment will be for the Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm off Scotland, starting in Q3 2021.

The vessel was developed in conjunction with Nexans, Skipsteknisk (ship design), Ulstein Verft (engineering and fitting), and MAATS Tech (cable installation equipment), each specialists in their fields, to produce the subsea cable and umbilical systems installation vessel intended for worldwide operations, from shallow and deep subsea activities. The vessel’s hull was built at the CRIST shipyard in Poland.

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