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10/1/21 – Nexans announced that it has entered into a share purchase agreement with Xignux SA of Mexico to acquire Centelsa, a premium cable maker in Latin America, for an undisclosed price.

A press release said that Centelsa, based in Colombia, produces cable for building and utilities applications. It was described as an “iconic world class cable maker,” with annual revenues of more than US$250 million and an enterprise value of US$225 million. The closing, subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to take place in the first half of 2022.

The Centelsa acquisition “is fully aligned with (our) strategic ambition to become a pure electrification player,” said Nexans CEO Christopher Guérin. The addition will further contribute to Nexans’s ability to serve renewable projects in the Andean Region and enhance its capacity in building and energy distribution.

“This combination will be the stepstone to grow our best-in-class solutions and unique premium brand,” said Viakable-Centelsa CEO Sergio Valdes. “The Centelsa team has demonstrated, for more than six decades, professionalism in delivering high value to our customers. As a global player in energy transmission, Nexans is a great fit to lead the next phase of growth for Centelsa´s customers and employees. Jointly, there is a promising future ahead.”

Centelsa was cited as being the first cable manufacturer in Colombia. Per Centelsa’s website, the company’s origin traces back to 1955, when INCE Ltda (Industria Nacional de Conductores Eléctricos) started its operation in the city of Cali, manufacturing low-voltage cables as magnet wire for applications in motor winding. In 1961, Ceat General of Colombia S.A. was established through the merger with U.S.-based General Cable Corporation and Italy’s Ceat International. It expanded in 1980 with a second plant, then a third in 1993. In 1994, CENTELSA (Cables De Energia Y Telecomunicaciones S.A.) was formed by the merger of Ceat General De Colombia S.A., Facomec and Fadaltec S.A. In 2012, it became part of the Viakable, the cables division of Xignux, a Mexican industrial group.

Over the years, Centelsa won numerous awards and certifications. Today, it has a network of strategically located offices to cover the national and international market, thus offering an opportune service.

8/3/21  Nexans, which notes that it has been a long-term partner in renewable energy developments, announced that it has been awarded a contract by Equinor to supply power export cable for its innovative floating solar pilot offshore Frøya in Norway.

A press release said that the pilot project, called Frøya, is scheduled to come online this December, at which time it will be the world’s first floating solar plant operating in rough offshore waters. The Frøya floating plant will measure 80 m x 80 m, with a height of less than 3 m above the sea surface, hosting an array of solar panels capable of producing up to 1 megawatt.

Nexans will supply 5 km of 22 kW export cable to connect the floating platform from shallow waters to land. The most challenging aspect for the cable construction is to handle the dynamic loadings as the connection at the platform end pitches up and down with the waves. Nexans is utilizing a three-core cable design of a type well proven in offshore wind farm and fish farming installations. The cable will be manufactured at Rognan plant in Norway.

“Our mission for Nexans is to electrify the world,” said Krister Granlie, vice president of the submarine telecom and special cables business unit of Nexans. “Our mission for Nexans is to electrify the world. That means exploring every possible opportunity to help develop new sources of green energy. So, we are delighted to be working once again with Equinor on a truly exciting project that further extends the boundaries of what might be possible in generating renewable energy offshore.”

Utility-scale floating solar power is currently one of the fastest growing renewable technologies as governments and investors around the world explore every possibility for safer, sustainable and decarbonized energy. This is expected to drive almost 10 gigawatt of new floating solar deployment by 2025.

7/12/21  Nexans has won a contract from VINCI-Energies Traction to supply traction cable for the new metro line 15 South, which is part of a mammoth French infrastructure project known as the Grand Paris Express (GPE).

A press release said that, when complete, the project—one of the world’s largest infrastructure projects, valued at approximately €35.6 billion—will double the existing Paris Metro network by adding four new lines, 68 stations and 200 km of track. It consists of a ring route around Paris (line 15) and lines connecting developing neighborhoods (lines 16, 17 and 18).

Along its 33-km length, the metropolitan Line 15 South will run from Pont-de-Sèvres to Noisy-Champs, passing through 22 districts to serve more than one million people. Most of the traction cables for the Line 15 South will be manufactured by the Nexans plant in Mehun-sur-Yèvre, France. Cable installation is scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2021, and Line 15 will open first, in 2025.

Nexans said that it is the first cable manufacturer to receive an order for this infrastructure project. The order, which will take place over more than three years, will see the traction cables installed along the rails in a long tunnel and in different technical rooms. The majority of the traction cables for metro Line 15 are from the K25 range developed by Nexans to comply with stringent fire performance railway standards. The contract will also include R2V cables. Option logistic services could be provided to ensure secured and on-time deliveries that would optimize cable installation for VINCI-Energies Traction.

The project is managed by The Société du Grand Paris. VINCI-Energies helps public authorities and business clients deploy energy, transport and communication infrastructure, industrial facilities and buildings. VINCI-Energies Traction is a consortium for the project.

June 3, 2021 – Nexans announced that it has won two contracts from Equinor, an international energy company present in more than 30 countries worldwide, for two offshore projects.

The first contract, a press release said, calls for Nexans to design, manufacture and supply 44 km of steel tube umbilicals and accessories for an offshore Brazilian project: the Bacalhau ultra-deep water, oil-field development project. It targets pre-salt reservoirs in the Santos Basin estimated to contain up to two billion barrels of oil equivalent (bboe) recoverable reserves.

The order extends Nexans’s long-standing relationship with the Subsea Integration Alliance (SIA) formed between Subsea 7 and OneSubsea. It is responsible for the SURF (subsea, umbilical, risers, and flowlines) front-end engineering and design (FEED) contracts for the Bacalhau project. Nexans’s Halden plant in Norway will provide the SIA with steel tube umbilicals to provide vital services for subsea equipment operating at water depths down to
2,100 m. This includes 2.5 km of gas-lift umbilical, 35 km of static umbilical, 6.9 km of dynamic umbilical and accessories. Nexans is scheduled to deliver the Bacalhau umbilicals in the last quarter of 2022.

The second order was for the fabrication of umbilicals for the Askeladd Vest project, which is in the southern Barents Sea. Nexans will provide static subsea umbilicals with a complex cross-section of power, fiber-optic communications and hydraulic elements for chemical injection, along with a range of connection and termination accessories.

The subsea template on Askeladd Vest will be tied back to the Askeladd field through a pipeline and an umbilical. The distance from the onshore production plant at Melkøya to the subsea field is 195 km, which is the longest distance ever for such a field development.
The main activity of assembling umbilicals and loading them onto installation vessels will be performed at Nexans’ plant in Halden. The control cables will be assembled at Nexans’ plant in Halden and unloaded on installation vessels. Fiber optic cables and power cables will be manufactured in Rognan. The contract value is estimated at nearly $12 million.

Nexans has reinforced its long-lasting relationship with Airbus with a new contract to supply specialized aerospace cables and wires that form the electrical backbone of civilian and military aircraft and helicopters.

A press release said that the new contract establishes Nexans as a major supplier to Airbus for high-performance, lightweight cables that play a major role in aircraft efficiency, passenger comfort and safety. Over the contract duration, Nexans will focus on new solutions for the future generation of electric and hybrid aircraft.

Nexans will provide most of the cables required for Airbus aircrafts in the coming years, covering applications such as cockpit, engine, cabin, in-flight entertainment and wings. The cable types include hook-up, wire, power, data, avionics and fire-resistant cables. Between 100 km and 350 km of cable are installed on a single aircraft, depending on the model.

Nexans solutions for future Airbus electric and hybrid aircraft will build on the success of the high-voltage (HV) cable prototypes, rated from 500 V to 3 kV, developed for the E-Fan X project. The regional hybrid-electric Aircraft demonstrator was a major milestone on Airbus’ decarbonization journey and a giant leap toward zero-emission flight.

The cables currently delivered by Nexans to Airbus are manufactured at Nexans plants in Draveil and Paillart, France and Mohammedia in Morocco.

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.

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.

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.

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