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Wire Journal News

March 2020

LS C&S has won a turnkey contract valued at approximately $85 million for a submarine cable project to connect Bahrain’s tourist islands. 

A press release said that Bahrain EWA (Electricity & Water Authority) plans to run 25 km of power cable between the main islands of Bahrain southeast to the Hawar Islands, which are known as a “go to” destination for divers. The Bahrain government wants to develop the area as a tourist complex, so it plans to access electricity from the main island rather than build a power plant on one of the smaller islands.

Saudi-based ALGIHAZ Contracting Co. is the primary project contractor. LS C&S will take charge of the submarine cable portion, with the project scheduled to be completed in September 2021. The project was supported by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and there was fierce competition for the contract by major cable makers in Europe and Japan. LS C&S said in the release that its experience of global long-distance projects, such as Jeju-Jindo Island power grid (113 km), Qatar (100 km), Canada (35 km) and the U.S. (30 km), “greatly helped the company win the contract.”

“As the power grid is also closely related to national security and social unrest due to blackout, economic thinking alone will not determine suppliers,” LS C&S President and CEO Roe-hyun Myung said. “LS C&S is capitalizing on its products and construction competency to expand its advance into overseas and increasing domestic investments as well.”

The release also said that LS C&S dominated the Taiwanese submarine cable market, worth $420 million in 2019, and that the business has already begun to grow in earnest. “So, the company invested about $42 million in Donghae, Gangwon-do, and plans to complete a second plant this coming March.”

Published in Industry News

Messe Düsseldorf has rescheduled the world's largest wire and cable industry trade show, postponed because of the Coronavirus, to Dec. 7-11, 2020.

"It is very important for us to inform you of this new date as soon as possible in order to ensure planning security for the entire industry and its partners," said Wolfram N. Diener, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH. "Our customers and partners can trust us to act calmly and responsibly even in difficult situations."

Existing contracts with Messe Düsseldorf remain valid for the new date, visitor tickets already purchased remain valid as well. 2,600 exhibitors in 15 halls are expected to present their latest machinery and equipment for wire and tube production, processing and finishing, end products, products and services.

The Düsseldorf hotel industry is also sending out an important signal through its umbrella organisation DEHOGA (Trade Association for the Hospitality Industry): "We appeal to our members and the entire industry to be flexible when it comes to rebooking by exhibitors and visitors. The Düsseldorf trade fairs such as wire and Tube play an enormously important role for the city, the hotel industry and the catering trade. It would be counterproductive not to show goodwill in this situation,” as both DEHOGA-Representatives Giuseppe Saitta (Chairman Düsseldorf/District Group Rhein-Kreis Neuss) and Rolf D. Steinert (Düsseldorf/Rhein-Kreis Neuss Hotels and Tourism Group) emphasize.  

Current information can be found in the Internet portals at: www.wire.de and www.Tube.de.

Published in Industry News

NKT announced that it has signed a supplier agreement with Dogger Bank Wind Farms Creyke Beck A and Creyke Beck B site to delivery and install high-voltage DC on- and offshore export cable systems.

A press release said that the order calls for NKT to provide 4×175 km of 320 kV DC offshore export power cables, and approximately 4×32 km of 320 kV DC onshore export power cables. Production of the power cable will start at the end of this year at its plant in Karlskrona, Sweden. The contract was valued at approximately 360 million euros. The agreement “will contribute positively to the medium voltage cables market trends owing to its supply of green energy to approximately 3 million households in the U.K.”

“I am excited that our long-term customers of Equinor and SSE have selected NKT as turnkey provider of the cable systems for the Dogger Bank Wind Farms Creyke Beck A/B and recognize us as a high-voltage DC technology partner in the market,” said NKT President and CEO Alexander Kara. “I am pleased to observe the continued European focus on increasing the use of renewable energy sources, which is a trend from which NKT sees good growth opportunities.”

The company also reports that it has qualified its 525 kV high-voltage DC power cable for the German corridor projects, which it notes represents “a milestone in the European green energy transformation.”

A press release said that certification of the company’s XLPE underground power cable enables it to be used for coming high-voltage DC corridor projects in Germany. These projects constitute a vital step in the country’s transition of its energy supply to come from renewable sources, a strategy called “Energiewende,” Germany’s long-term strategy for switching to renewable energies by 2050. That initiative will require long-distance power transmission lines to transport renewable energy.

The certification process was not a quick one. The cable underwent more than a year of testing by an external power cable test institute. The resulting certification adds to the Cigre qualification earned in 2014 when NKT first launched the world’s first 525 kV XLPE power cable.
The cable, which keeps transmission losses low, will be manufactured at NKT’s high-voltage plants in Germany and Sweden, solely using “green” electricity. The local presence “will also ensure short transportation distances to the HVDC corridors and thereby minimize the total carbon footprint.”

Published in Industry News

BizLink Holding announced that it will acquire Singapore’s Speedy Industrial Supplies Pte., Ltd., for approximately US$47 million, a deal that will bolster its production and sales force in Southeast Asia.

A press release said that BizLink’s board of directors had approved the buyout bid, and both parties were expected to have closed the deal by the end of February. Speedy’s product lines include wire harnesses and cables, PCBs and other electronics components for industrial and medical applications. It has assembly lines in Singapore and Malaysia to serve clients mostly in Europe and the U.S.

“The acquisition is expected to help BizLink expand its customer bases in the medical field and expand its product portfolios for industrial applications, while better extending its business tentacles worldwide,” the release said.

Per the website of BizLink, the company, based in the U.S. in Silicon Valley, has manufacturing bases in the U.S., Mexico, Slovakia, Serbia, Malaysia and China, the latter of which represents 65% of its production capacity. The company had relocated part of production to Southeast Asia and Mexico among other places in the wake of the U.S.-China trade dispute

BizLink was founded in 1996, and was listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) in 2011. Of note, it was named to Newsweek’s 2020 list of America’s Most Responsible Companies, and Deloitte’s “2019 Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500.”

Published in Industry News

MAGNIFIN Magnesiaprodukte GmbH & Co KG (MAGNIFIN), a 50-50 joint venture, is one step closer to finalizing the location of a second facility to expand its production of magnesium hydroxides

A press release said that the MAGNIFIN board has approved the preparatory work for what will be the JV’s second such plant. MAGNIFIN is a joint venture between Martinswerk GmbH, part of the Fire Retardant Additives (FRA) business of the Huber Engineered Materials (HEM) division of J.M. Huber Corporation (Huber) and Veitscher Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH, part of the group of companies of RHI Magnesita N.V. (RHIM).

“This planned significant investment is driven to meet growing global demand and support the growth of its customers for high-purity, halogen-free magnesium hydroxide fire retardants,” the release said. The new plant would manufacture the same product portfolio being made at Breitenau, Austria. This expansion project would further enhance the company’s ability to deliver premium magnesium hydroxides (MAGNIFIN®) and would provide additional supply chain flexibility for its customers.

MAGNIFIN coated and uncoated magnesium hydroxides are environment friendly, non-halogenated flame retardants used in a wide range of polymer applications, especially thermoplastic materials and elastomers requiring high processing temperatures in excess of 200°C.
A spokesman said that the location is expected to be in Europe, likely the eastern part of Europe, and will serve the European and Eastern Asian markets. The new plant will take approximately three years to build. Modular steps will be taken in regards to capacity, but it’s ultimately expected to double current capacity.

Published in Industry News

Acciaierie di Calvisano (Feralpi) announced that it is waiting final approval of the proposal it made to its 50-50 partner in the Caleotto wire rod mill.

A published report said that its partner, Duferco Italia Holding, has agreed to sell its ownership in the rod mill in northern Italy. Caleotto supplies special wire rod to a number of markets, including the automotive sector

Published in Industry News

Southwire plans to close operations at its plant in Hayesville, North Carolina, effective March 31.

Per a report in the Clay County Progress, the plant, acquired by Southwire in 2014, employs some 45 employees. Production there will be moved to other Southwire plants. “This decision is not a reflection on the people, the quality or the performance of the facility, nor is it one we take lightly,” said Rich Stinson, Southwire’s president and CEO. “As we look at our long-term strategy, we must ensure we are properly aligned to make the best use of our facilities and best meet the needs of our customers.”

Published in Industry News

Italy’s Mario Frigerio SpA announced that it has acquired the intellectual property rights (IP rights), as well as the inventory, of Germany’s ERNST KOCH GmbH & Co., KG, a storied equipment manufacturer.

A press release said that Mario Frigerio has established a new company—KOCH Machinery and Technology GmbH (KOCH)—in Germany. Lucia Frigerio, executive vice president of Mario Frigerio, will also serve as managing director, along with Jochen Koch. Lucia Frigerio said that the deal enables the resulting organization to offer “the world’s best European technology,” and that it will be able to quickly respond to service needs around the world, and will stock original spare parts.

“With this acquisition, the MFL GROUP will strengthen its worldwide presence, and complete its portfolio of products in the Wire and Rope Division with reinforcement steel wire lines as well as cold heading wire lines,” Frigerio said in the release. It noted that KOCH will also service the complete program of the former entity. That includes spare parts supply, maintenance programs, electrical revamping and mechanical retrofitting.

Founded in 1921, Ernst Koch GmbH supplied its first wire machine in the 1930s, built by master mechanic Ernst Koch. In the 1950s, his sons, Albert and Heinrich, began supplying wet drawing machines, take-up frames for galvanizing lines, and wire straightening and cutting machines. In 1969, it partnered with WAFIOS AG to provide specialized drawing machines and cold-rolling technology. The company expanded its product range over the years, to where it had some 130 employees, customers in more than 60 countries, with 80% of its products are now being exported.

Published in Industry News

U.S.-based Fisk Alloy, Inc., announced that it has agreed to be bought by Thermo Technologies, a French company that is active in five companies in three continents (Europe, North America and Asia), for an undisclosed sum.

A press release said that the deal represents “a strategic combination designed to create a global expert in high-performance copper alloy wires.” Fisk Alloy, founded in 1973, manufactures advanced copper alloy wire for sectors such as automotive, medical, electronic and aerospace. It has some 200 employees at its plant in Hawthorne, New Jersey.

Thermo Technologies produces electrolytic precious metal coatings, EDM wire, high-tech solid and stranded copper, copper alloy and aluminum wires, and more. It is controlled by Edify SA, a Swiss industrial holding company listed on the Euro-MTF market of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.

Thermo Technologies CEO Gilles Mollard will oversee the combined operations. Eric Fisk, CEO and controlling owner of Fisk Alloy, “will step aside from day-to-day operations, become a significant investor in Thermo Technologies and join its Supervisory Board.” Current Fisk management will run the company’s U.S. operations, which will retain the Fisk name. The transaction is expected to close at the end of the first quarter of 2020.

Published in Industry News

Messe Düsseldorf GmbH announced that it is postponing wire Dusseldorf and Tube Dusseldorf, as well as other scheduled trade fairs at the Fairgrounds that include ProWein, wire, Tube, Beauty, Top Hair and Energy Storage Europe. Below is its press release.

In close coordination with all partners involved, the company will promptly discuss alternative trade fair dates in order to guarantee planning can reliably proceed. In doing so, we are following the recommendation of the crisis management team of the German government to take into account the principles of the Robert Koch Institute when making a risk assessment of major events. On the basis of this recommendation and the recent significant increase in the number of infected persons, including in Europe, Messe Düsseldorf has reassessed the situation. Added to this is the uncertainty of numerous exhibitors and visitors at the events in March and the complicated travel situation, especially for international customers.

 Werner M. Dornscheidt, CEO of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH: "Our customers, partners and employees trust us. Not only when it comes to the professional and successful handling of major international events in Düsseldorf. They can also have this trust in us when we make decisions about critical situations in the interests of their safety".

 "This decision was not an easy one for all concerned," said Thomas Geisel, Lord Mayor of the city of Düsseldorf and chairman of the Supervisory Board of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH. "But the postponements at the present time are necessary for Messe Düsseldorf and its customers in view of the increasingly dynamic developments.”

There are currently no intentions to postpone the major trade fairs interpack and drupa, which will be held in Düsseldorf in May and June. "Of course, we are taking our customers' inquiries regarding the Coronavirus very seriously here too," said Dornscheidt, "so we will re-evaluate the situation in good time in consultation with health authorities and partners in order to make the appropriate decisions.”

The week-long wire Dusseldorf and Tube Dusseldorf events were scheduled to be held March 30 to April 3. Asked by WJI when a new date might be known for the biennial events, a Messe spokesperson replied that it was too early to say, noting that there were many factors to consider.

Published in Industry News


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