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Egyptian ICT infrastructure provider Benya Capital recently has signed a contract with the Arab Organisation for Industrialisation (AOI) to establish what was described as the largest fiber-optic cable factory in the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

A press release said that the plant, expected to cost over EGP 1 billion, will be built on a large site at the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone). A tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the AOI, Benya Capital (formerly known as Fiber Misr) and the Arab Academy for Science, Technology, and Maritime Transport (AASTMT).

The three entities will team up for Artificial Intelligence (AI) projects and training in installation, and operation and maintenance of fiber networks. AOI chairperson Abdel Moneim Al-Tarras said the factory will provide many job opportunities for young engineers and technicians, as well as training in the latest fiber-optic cable technologies. He said that the AOI aims to establish a national industry that meets local market needs in terms of communications infrastructure. It will also serve Egypt’s new development projects and smart cities, in addition to opening export markets in the MEA region.

Last modified on September 1, 2020

To help U.S. exhibitors affected by COVID-19 related travel restrictions, the U.S. Commercial Service in Düsseldorf has launched a booth staffing program for upcoming trade fairs that includes wire Düsseldorf and Tube Düsseldorf.

A press release said that corporate travel policies, government restrictions and quarantine requirements have made participation at trade fairs increasingly complex. If U.S. exhibitors cannot staff their booth but want to keep their brand positioned internationally and not miss business opportunities, the U.S. Commercial Service will find, train and monitor professional representatives at trade fairs in Düsseldorf.

The office has a long history of hiring articulate, motivated professionals to assist companies, explain product details, and collect business contact information from current and future business partners at trade fairs. The U.S. Commercial Service staff will: find a qualified, professional representative (REP) to staff exhibit booths; meet individually (virtually or in-person) with the REP to ensure quality standards, train on proper business contact etiquette, discuss the exhibiting firm’s products and review trade fair schedule and administrative matters; visit the REP at least once during the trade fair; check-in with the REP at the beginning/end of each trade fair day; collect business cards from the REP on the last day of the show; and discuss any key interactions, flag contacts for follow-up, scan business cards and send to home office.

The cost for the service includes direct payment to the REP (approximately 200 euros per day + local transportation costs), and a commercial service fee (U.S. small company, $600; U.S. medium company: $1,400; and U.S. large company: $1,800). To determine company size, go to www.trade.gov/us-commercial-service-user-fees, and scroll to the bottom for an explanation. For more information on the program, go to https://tinyurl.com/y2htduxl.

The service is also being offered at the Messe Düsseldorf fairgrounds to Caravan Salon, MEDICA, COMPAMED and Valve World Expo.

For further details, contact either Ken Walsh, commercial officer, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Anette Salama, senior commercial specialist, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Last modified on September 1, 2020

Google has announced plans in a YouTube video that it plans to build a new submarine fiber optic cable connecting the
United States and Europe.

Per the report, the Grace Hopper Cable, named after a computer programming pioneer and Rear-Admiral in the United
States Navy, will be equipped with 16 fiber pairs that will incorporate advances in optical fiber switching. This will allow
for increased reliability in global communications by enabling Google to move traffic around if demand changes or if
there are connectivity issues. The company said that this is the first time this technology has been deployed and is part of
what makes Grace Hopper so unique, and noted that Google is continuously working to advance technologies like this to
improve subsea network resiliency.

The Grace Hopper Cable will run from the U.S. to the U.K. and Spain. Google customers will benefit from this cable by
better network resilience and reliability. It will join the other private cables that are part of Google’s network: Curie,
Dunant and Equiano. It will further connect Google Cloud regions and Google’s customers to one another.
When it is completed in 2022, the Grace Hopper cable will be one of only a handful of new cables to connect the U.S.
and the U.K. since 2003, when the transatlantic route was saturated by overbuilding during the cable boom around the
turn of the century. It will also mark the first investment by Google in a subsea cable network to Spain.

The Grace Hopper Cable will also be better able to connect America, the U.K. and the rest of Europe with the Equiano
cable, which is currently under construction between Portugal and the West Coast of Africa. It will increase capacity on
this busy transatlantic global crossroad and power Google services such as Meet, Gmail and Google Cloud. It will be
Google’s fourth wholly owned cable. In addition to these private cables, the company is also a member of a number of
consortiums that jointly operate cables around the world. In total, Google has now announced investments in 5 subsea
cable projects.

Last modified on September 1, 2020

Nexans announced the sale of two companies that were planned prior to Covid-19, as well as steps that have been taken in response to the effects of the virus that has uprooted much of the world.

In its mid-year financial report, Nexans announced that it has agreed to sell Berk-Tek, a U.S.-based manufacturer of local area network cables, for $202 million, to Leviton Network Solutions. Berk-Tek is a leading manufacturer of local area network copper and fiber cables. Berk-Tek’s 350 employees, as well as its facilities located in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, are expected to move under Leviton ownership before the end of Q3-2020 subject to customary closing conditions.

“This transaction is a natural step in reinforcing the Berk-Tek and Leviton marketing alliance signed in 2013. The combination of both innovative, reliable and service-oriented brands will enable Leviton Network Solutions to offer fully integrated solutions,” the release said. The transaction has an enterprise value of US$202 million. Berk-Tek reported sales for US$163 million in 2019.

 “Berk-Tek is a highly respected North American cabling company with exceptional manufacturing and product development capabilities,” said Leviton President Daryoush Larizadeh. “By adding Berk-Tek to the Leviton family, we will be able to provide truly end-to-end solutions to our customers.” “Our Berk-Tek colleagues will join a long-term partner with the best strategic fit to answer customers’ demand around connectivity,” said Nexans CEO Christopher Guérin.

The second sale was for Nexans Metallurgie Deutschland GmbH (NMD), which specializes in oxygen-free copper drawing, to Mutares SE & Co. KGaA. The plant has annual capacity of 60,000 metric tons. NMD has 250 employees at two German sites in Bramsche and Neunburg. It serves first and second tier customers for automotive, white goods and industrial applications.

Mutares acquires and develops medium-sized industrial companies and operations of large corporations.

Last modified on September 1, 2020

U.K.-based JDR Cable Systems, Inc. (JDR) has begun construction on a new 65,000-sf-ft U.S. headquarters on a 10-acre site in Tomball, Texas, that will combine three sites that were leased.

Per an article in the Houston Business Chronical that had information provided by JDR, a business of Poland’s TFKable, the site will be used to design and manufacture products for the oil and gas industry. The project, scheduled for completion in the first half of 2021, will allow JDR to expand its intervention workover control systems (IWOCS) rental business to support current demand.

The three leased locations collectively accounted for about 30,000 sq ft of space in northwest Houston. The new facility will include 45,000 sq ft of assembly and testing space, including a 60-ton overhead crane, and 20,000 sq ft of two-story office space. The site will see engineering and management for global projects, assembly of various oil field equipment and support for JDR’s offshore service business. Once the facility is complete, JDR plans to hire additional engineers and service technicians to expand its local presence. It will move 45 existing employees into the new facility and then hire five to 10 employees per year over the next five years.

“Beginning construction of our new Houston headquarters marks a significant milestone for our U.S. business,” said JDR General Manager Brian Davis.

Last modified on September 1, 2020

The PolyOne Corporation, a leading global provider of specialized polymer materials, services and sustainable solutions, has completed its purchase of the color masterbatch businesses of Clariant and Clariant Chemicals India Ltd. PolyOne also announced that it has changed its name and will now be called Avient.

“We proudly welcome our newest associates and valued customers from Clariant Masterbatch,” said Avient President and CEO Robert M. Patterson. “They are joining us on Day 1 of this new era for our company, which as of today will be named Avient. Under this new brand, we bring two global leaders together to create a specialty company focused on sustainable solutions for our customers, being a great place to work for our associates, and creating value for all stakeholders.”

The Clariant Masterbatch business includes 46 manufacturing operations and technology centers in 29 countries and approximately 3,500 employees, who will join Avient’s Color, Additives and Inks segment.

“With this acquisition, Avient now expects over 85% of adjusted EBITDA to be generated from specialty applications,” said Patterson. “This is up from less than 10% when our specialty journey began over a decade ago. While we honor the legacies of our past organizations, under our new name Avient, we come together and look to the future as a world-class sustainable organization.”

Last modified on August 4, 2020

The Prysmian Group has won a contract worth approximately €80 million to provide the submarine inter-array cable systems for the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm in France.

A press release said that Prysmian will provide some 90 km of three-core 66 kV HVAC XLPE-insulated inter-array cables. The cable cores will be manufactured at the Group’s sites in its French plants in Montereau-Fault-Yonne and Gron, and then be assembled and finished in its German plant in Nordenham, providing the French market with Prysmian’s state-of-the-art cable systems manufactured locally. Delivery and commissioning are scheduled for the end of 2022.

“This award confirms once again our technological leadership enabling the energy transition also in France, while also underlining our ability to provide our customers with locally manufactured solutions that ensure high performance,” said Hakan Ozmen, EVP, Projects Business Unit, Prysmian Group.

“This award represents an important milestone for Prysmian as it shows that our ambition to become a one-stop solution provider covering the entire supply chain is credible and sustainable,” said Olivier Angoulevant, BU Director Offshore Wind, Prysmian Group. “Our 66 kV cables system for inter-array networks allows twice as much power to be transported in comparison to 33 kV.”

Last modified on August 4, 2020

Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. (SEI) has completed the construction of the largest wind farm in Japan, “Wind Farm Tsugaru,” which was ordered by Kajima Corporation.

A press release said that the project required a 34-km-long power cable described as “unparalleled for an ultra-high voltage (154 kV) transmission line.” The completed wind farm is designed to have a total output of 121,600 kW, which would make it the largest onshore wind farm in Japan.

The wind farm, located in Tsugaru City, in the Aomori Prefecture, was established by Green Power Tsugaru GK, a group company of Green Power Investment Corporation. Construction took about two and a half years. Sumitomo Electric was in charge of the design, manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, such as underground power transmission and distribution lines and substation equipment, jointly with its group companies, Nissin Electric Co., Ltd. and Sumitomo Densetsu Co., Ltd.

Last modified on August 4, 2020

Crosslake Fibre reported plans for a 550-km subsea cable project that will connect France and England in what was described as the first fiber-optic subsea cable to be built across the English Channel in nearly 20 years,

A press release said that the project—called the CrossChannel Fibre—will have 96 fiber pairs that will each provide over 20 Tbps of throughput “delivering much-needed internet capacity between two important data hubs.”

The supplier for the fiber optic cable had not been selected yet, but subsea survey specialist EGS will undertake the marine and burial surveys for the cable system, which is due for completion in autumn 2021. The cable will connect the French capital with Slough, in southern England.

“We are excited to launch this historic subsea project and deliver a new, much-needed connection across the English Channel connecting the critically important data hubs of Slough and Paris,” said Crosslake Fibre CEO Mike Cunningham. “This new fiber infrastructure has been optimized to create the shortest path between the two data hubs, providing users with an enhanced technical solution and materially lowering operating costs.

The company told WJI that the cable contract is out to bid.

The deal follows a 2010 project last year where Crosslake Fibre provided the first new fiber-optic cable between Toronto and New York in almost two decades. For that project, the cable supplier was Sweden’s Hexatronic Cables & Interconnect Systems. That cable traverses Lake Ontario from Toronto to New York State utilizing a specialized 192 fiber strand submarine cable that is 36 miles (58 km) in length.

Last modified on August 4, 2020

Accel International Holdings, Inc., announced that it will build a new 150,000-sq-ft manufacturing facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

A press release said that the plant will manufacture high performance cables, wires and conductors for markets such as aerospace, medical, industrial and telecommunications. It will supply silver, nickel- and tin-plated copper and copper alloy products. The project is expected to generate 125 new jobs by 2021.

Founded in 2006, Accel operates three manufacturing facilities in Connecticut and Indiana that have a combined 450,000 sq ft of vertically integrated processes. The company primarily serves the domestic marketplace; but it has “international activity” in Canada, Mexico and China.

Accel’s new plant will be located on 10 acres in Port St. Lucie’s Tradition Center for Commerce. The company plans to break ground later this year. “With a vision for additional expansion, Accel has acquired a total of 40 acres for future development activity and has made a total capital investment of $55 million,” the release said.

The news was welcomed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who described it as “great news for Florida’s growing manufacturing sector.”

“We are excited about our corporate expansion into Florida and anticipate a bright future for us and the city of Port St. Lucie. We hope bringing 125 new jobs by 2021 to Port St. Lucie during these difficult economic times will be a catalyst for other companies to do the same,” said Accel CFO Tim Cummings.

At its website, Accel states that it plans to expand the Florida plant to 300,000 sq ft in 2023.

Last modified on August 4, 2020

NKT has been awarded its largest order, worth more than €1 billion, from TenneT and TransnetBW, for a project that calls for it to supply and install a 525 kV XLPE high-voltage DC (direct current) onshore cable system.

A press release said that the cable will be used for Germany’s SuedLink corridor, which comprises two power cable systems. NKT has been awarded the 2 GW cable link, which it noted will be the world’s largest and longest high-voltage DC underground interconnector. The SuedLink line starts in Northern Germany where it connects to power from offshore wind farms and to the Nordlink interconnector, which brings hydro power from Norway to Germany via a 525 kV high-voltage DC offshore power cable system also provided by NKT.

Earlier this year, NKT announced that it would deliver the majority of the 525 kV XLPE power cable system for the SuedOstLink corridor in Eastern Germany.

“The order for the SuedLink corridor project underlines NKT’s position as a major partner in Germany’s transition towards increased use of renewable energy and in connecting the national grids,” said NKT President and CEO Alexander Kara.

Last modified on August 4, 2020

A subsidiary of TKH has won a contract from Vattenfall to supply 150 km 66 kV inter-array cables for the Hollandse Kust Zuid wind farm (HKZ) 1-2, which is located in the North Sea.

The contract includes the manufacture and delivery of 150 km of 66 kV aluminum core cables and accessories. The execution of the installation and cable laying is scheduled for 2022-23.

The offshore wind farm, known as HKZ 1-2, is located about 22 km from the Dutch coast, between The Hague and Zandvoort. When completed, the wind farm will have an installed capacity of approximately 750 MW, and an annual electricity output equal to the consumption of approx. 1-1.5 million Dutch households.

The delivery and installation of the inter array cables will start in 2022. It is expected that the offshore wind farm will be fully operational in 2023.

Last modified on August 1, 2020