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Southwire announced that it would soon begin construction of a 100,000-sq-ft copper-rod manufacturing plant in Carrollton, Georgia, an initiative that supports its long-term modernization strategy and building on its goal to remain generationally sustainable for the next 100 years and beyond.

A press release said that construction of the new plant is expected to begin in the first quarter, and that production should begin in the new facility by the end of 2022. When the construction project is completed, the current system will be decommissioned. Of note, the new plant will feature an SCR-9000S Copper Rod System that will have the capability to produce more copper rod (60 mt/hr) than any other SCR system in the world.

“Southwire is investing in a multimillion-dollar modernization initiative that will allow us to best serve our customers, increase our efficiency and introduce newer and better equipment, systems and technology,” said Southwire’s President and CEO Rich Stinson. “In doing so, we’re reaffirming our commitment to providing a work environment that supports the well-being of our employees, our communities and the environment – for today and for the future. Installing a new SCR system is an important part of this effort, as copper rod is the start of the manufacturing process for many of the products that make Southwire an industry leader.”

Southwire started operation of its current copper rod system in Carrollton in 1980, and four decades later, copper continues to be the primary source of metal for the company’s wire and cable operations. The new facility will be located on the same property as the existing manufacturing plant and will utilize the company’s patented Southwire Continuous Rod (SCR®) technology, which transformed the wire and cable industry in the early 1960s and is still the preferred system around the world.

“To put the technology itself into perspective, fifty percent of all copper rod made in the world passes through one of our SCR systems at some point in its lifetime. That’s significant,” said Charlie Murrah, executive vice president of metals. “Our copper rod manufacturing plant in Carrollton is more than 40 years old, and it is the right time to upgrade to a new, state-of-the-art SCR system for continuity and efficiency of our processes. Having a new SCR system in place for Southwire’s copper rod production will help keep us strong and sustainable for decades to come.”

The company also plans to continue pursuing its commitment to Growing Green as it plans for the replacement system. In support of Southwire’s Carbon Zero initiative to achieve 100% carbon free energy for its operations by 2025, Southwire is partnering with Carroll EMC to use all renewable electricity for the facility.

“We’re excited about the future of our Carrollton copper rod manufacturing facility, and we are proud to partner with Carroll EMC as we pursue our Carbon Zero initiative,” said Stinson. “Through this effort, we are not only supporting our modernization strategy and strategic efforts, but also strengthening our commitment toward remaining generationally sustainable.”

Nexans has strengthened its industrial presence in Morocco with the inauguration of a new plant in the Nouaceur industrial acceleration zone known as Midparc.

A press release said that the plant, to be part of the company’s telecom systems business unit, will produce fiber optic cable connectorization accessories for FTTH (Fiber to the Home), 5G, data center and LAN (Local Area Network) applications. The new site was built on 6,000 sq m of land, half for production, and will employ between 250 and 300 people by 2022. The Nexans Group currently has five sites in Morocco.

“The initiative will enable the Nexans Group to increase its production capacity, while expanding its product range and offering new services to better satisfy its customers: supply chain optimization services, component pre-wiring and cable connectorization services,” the release said. It will serve the European market, as well as the North African market.

The inauguration was chaired by Moulay Hafid Elalamy, Morocco’s minister of industry, trade, green and digital economy, who welcomed the latest expansion. “This new investment in Morocco of the industrial leader Nexans, in line with the European strategy of rationalization of the supply chain, demonstrates the competitiveness of Morocco and the resilience of the national industrial sector in this context of crisis.”

“This investment enables us to pursue our development strategy in this high-growth region and to have a stronger local presence in the North West African market,” said Julien Hueber, executive vice president of Nexans’ Industry Solutions & Projects Business Group.

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.

LLFlex, a global supplied in packaging materials and industrial laminate solutions for sectors that include wire and cable, is set to open a new 73,500-sq-ft fully integrated manufacturing facility in High Point, North Carolina, that will provide products and services to customers in the U.S. and abroad. l

A press release said that the company will invest some $7.6 million in the project. The initiative will significantly expand LLFlex’s output capacity, and include equipment supporting both of its two main business segments: packing (consumer products) and industrial laminates. The latter business includes wire and cable, for which the company offers its Reyshield™ cable wrap. The investment will include a new laminator with multiple coating stations and a dedicated slitter that will be complemented by a new steel, copper and aluminum slitter with an annual capacity of 40 million lb. “The new facility is a culmination of our commitment to customer service, production excellence and market share growth,” said Victor Dixon, CEO of LLFlex.

The central province of Quảng Ngãi has agreed in principle for Belgium’s NV Bekaert SA to build a steel fiber factory in a 40-hectare site at the VSIP Quảng Ngãi Industrial Park in the Sơn Tịnh District.

A report in multiple news organizations, including Viet Nam News, said that the Bekaert Việt Nam-Dung Quất steel fiber plant would have a total investment capital of more than US$125 million. Construction should begin late this year, and be in operation in 2021. At that point, it should be able to produce a range of products for automotive and other industries. The factory’s capacity would be up to 75,000 metric tons (mt) a year of braided steel fibers, 2,000 mt of steel cords and 2,000 mt of improved braided steel fiber, it said.

The project, the stories said, would be the second largest foreign direct investment (FDI) project in the Quảng Ngãi Province, after the project of Doosan Heavy Việt Nam Co. Ltd. 

Germany’s Leoni AG reports that the company’s new plant in Kraljevo, which represents its fourth plant in Serbia, should be ready to start ramping up production of wiring systems for Mercedes by the end of January.

A press release said that the 60 million euro investment in Kraljevo is being made in steps, and that the current stage accounts for 6,500 sq m of production space, with some 150 engineers, technicians and workers in the production. The site will not be fully completed until the end of the first quarter of 2020, at which time the plant will be 45,000 sq m. By 2023, it should be in full capacity, employing around 5,000 workers.

The release said that plant, described as the first new one built in Kraljevo in 30 years, will be the company’s largest plant in Serbia. Leoni has been operating in Serbia since 2009, when the German-based company opened its first factory in Prokuplje. In 2014, a factory was opened in Malosiste and in 2017, one in Nis. All the plants manufacture wiring systems for producers of premium cars.

Since setting up its business, Leoni Serbia, in 2009, the company has invested approximately 90 million euros in its facilities, machinery and staff training, the release said. It currently employs around 6,000 people in the country, and once the Kraljevo plant is at full capacity it should have 10,000 workers, at which point Leoni expects to be the largest manufacturing-industry employer in Serbia.

"Serbia has great potential from the human capital point of view and a work culture and ethics that we really appreciate," the release. Over the past 10 years, more than 52 million euros in taxes and contributions have been made to the Republic of Serbia. "We are pleased to be developing our business in Serbia further."

Of note, Leoni AG this year is scheduled to see the opening of a new plant it announced last June in Bulgaria. That plant, which would bring 2,000 jobs to the northern city of Pleven in Bulgaria, would cost an estimated €32 million investment. The plant would be Leoni’s first in the country. It is scheduled to be fully operational by 2020, according to one report citing Bulgaria’s Economy Ministry.

Fluoropolymer Resources LLC (FRL) announced that the company has opened its new 63,000-sq-ft production facility in North Windham, Connecticut.

A press release said that the company’s state-of-the-art facility brings all of its existing assets under one roof, while also adding new capacity and capabilities to further expand their position as a leading global reprocessor of fluoropolymer products.

"FRL is incredibly excited to have made this move to our new facility at such a dynamic period in our 28 year history," said company CEO Kevin Buchanan. "With this year’s production topping 2.6 million lb of FEP, PFA and ETFE, and 30% growth in volume anticipated in 2019, we needed a larger factory with an open floor plan to expand and streamline our production for greater control of quality and yields."

More space was also required to complete the integration of FRL’s 2018 acquisition of Trifluor Kunststoff, the release said. It noted that the German fluoropolymer reprocessor is a world leader in supplying reprocessed PFA and FEP with clarity and properties equal to prime virgin polymer. That resource added substantially to FRL’s long-term commitment to upgrade the usefulness and value of even the most contaminated PFA and FEP scrap supplies.

FRL, a division of Prime Materials Recovery, is a leading recycler of FEP, PFA and ETFE fluoropolymer plastics in North America, with products sold across the globe.

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