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7/12/21  The Prysmian Group has won a turn-key contract worth €900 million to supply some 700 miles of ±525 kV cross-linked polyethylene class HVDC cable that will connect two of the largest energy markets in the U.S.

A press release said that the order is from SOO Green HVDC Link, LLC (SOO Green), which named the Prysmian Group as its preferred supplier of high-voltage DC cable systems for a first-of-its-kind transmission project to be installed underground along existing railroad rights of way. The 2,100-MW interregional project, considered the first link in a national clean energy grid, will connect the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) that serves the central U.S. to the eastern PJM Interconnection, serving more than 1.2 million homes. For more information about the SOO Green HVDC Link, go to www.soogreenrr.com.

SOO Green, which is owned by investment funds managed by Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, Siemens Energy, and Jingoli Power, is being developed by Minneapolis-based Direct Connect Development Company, LLC. The award is subject to final contract approvals. The construction part of the project will be performed by Jingoli Power, and will be added to the overall contract value.

The cables will be installed underground, primarily along existing railroad rights-of-way. They will connect SOO Green’s converter station in northern Iowa to its Illinois converter station, just west of Chicago. Cable production for the project is expected to start in 2023.

The cables will be made at Prysmian’s facility in Abbeville, South Carolina, which is being upgraded to help achieve President Biden’s goal of a zero-carbon power grid by 2035. “After the award of flagship projects such as the Vineyard offshore wind farm and the project to upgrade the Washington, D.C. area’s power transmission system, (this opportunity) further solidifies Prysmian Group as the partner of choice for the US interconnector market,” said Prysmian Group CEO Valerio Battista.

May 12, 2021 – Prysmian Group strengthens its commitment to Diversity & Inclusion with the aim of further enhancing its human capital made up of around 28,000 employees worldwide. The increase in the percentage of women, both among white-collar workers and at the level of top managers, is among the sustainability parameters to which the payment of the company managers’ variable remuneration has been linked.

As evidence of the strategic importance of gender and cultural diversity, Prysmian has also set up a new global Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee, tasked with overseeing the achievement of the objectives that the Group has set itself. The Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee has the responsibility to define D&I objectives at each organisational level and support the definition of the actions to achieve and to promote a cultural change to facilitate Diversity & Inclusion within the work environment. The Committee is composed by Prysmian Turkey Human Resources Director Aysun Kalmik, acting as Leader, and Product Development Manager of the Lincoln (Rhode Island) plant Prasha Sarwate, as Deputy Leader.

In order to improve the gender balance in its workforce, the Group has committed to achieving the following Diversity & Inclusion objectives by 2022:

• Ensuring 40% of women hired (female white collars hired with a permanent contract) on total hirings (34% in 2020 compared to 30% in 2016);

• Increasing from 21.9% to 25% the percentage of women managers (from junior to top positions);

• Improving gender balance with regard to executive positions: from 6% in 2016 to 18% in 2022.

In addition, fundamental indicators (e.g., security) have been implemented in all the Groups’ 104 plants.

The D&I parameters are part of the sustainability objectives, to which the payment of the company managers’ variable remuneration has been linked.
In addition, the Group’s first Global eNclusion Week, a five-day digital event, will take place from 17 to 21 May, featuring a series of digital panels and workshops on the importance and advantages of building diverse and inclusive workspaces. The programme will focus on four main themes: Gender Diversity; Diversity & Inclusion in all its forms; Inclusive Culture in the workplace; and Generational D&I.

The Global eNclusion Week will be opened on 14 May by Fabrizio Rutschmann, Prysmian Group CHRO, followed by speeches by: Valerio Battista, Prysmian Group CEO; Mimi Kung, Prysmian Group Independent Board Member; Eric Rondolat, Signify CEO; Sabrina Ritossa Fernandez, Sycomore Asset Management; Maria Cristina Bifulco, Chief Sustainability Officer & IR Director Prysmian Group; and Massimo Battaini, Prysmian Group COO. For further details on all the events click here. The Global eNclusion Week will offer the opportunity to know more about how Countries, Companies and Associations are promoting Diversity & Inclusion around the world.

With the participation of an international and multicultural community, this initiative will feature one week of events open to everyone, where speakers from different industries and with different background will share their knowledge and best practices related to Diversity & Inclusion.
“We strongly believe that leveraging on gender, age and cultural diversity means creating more value and we are constantly building a work environment where all our employees can feel understood, respected and included, just as they are. This event is more than an aspiration: it is a necessity, or better, a business case for a Group that has to work with customers, suppliers and shareholders with different backgrounds and cultures. In order to improve this approach, it is necessary to raise awareness and build a positive dialogue, which can contribute to advancing the Group’s corporate culture”, commented Fabrizio Rutschmann, Chief HR Officer Prysmian Group.

Prysmian Group believes in the value of individuals, backgrounds, leadership styles and attitudes because each person has the potential to generate value to the Company. Its global footprint enables the Group to promote an inclusive environment, encouraging the development of corporate culture and identity. Side by Side is Prysmian Group’s project that promotes Diversity & Inclusion across the organisation.

The Prysmian Group
Prysmian Group is a world leader in the energy and telecom cable systems industry. With almost 140 years of experience, sales of €10 billion, about 28,000 employees in over 50 countries and 104 plants, the Group is strongly positioned in high-tech markets and offers the widest possible range of products, services, technologies and know-how.

4/6/2021: Larry Lee Finney, an industry veteran whose passion for trouble-shooting production problems transcended his official retirement, died Feb. 28, 2021, at age 82.

Finney, who retired from the Prysmian Group, worked for more than four decades in the wire and cable industry. His career started in the 1960s as a machine operator at Anaconda. He worked at a number of different positions for different companies over the years. In 1966, the same year he got married, he got a call from Wendell Yeager asking him to help start up a plant in Tarboro, North Carolina, which he did. In 1988, he became a general foreman with Pirelli Cable in Abbeville, South Carolina. In 1993, he became a process engineer at the BICC Cable plant in Du Quoin, Illinois, where he stayed until 1998, when he returned to Abbeville for Pirelli. During his career, he traveled to many states and internationally to share his knowledge and help solve production problems. After his 2007 retirement, he worked for three more years as a contractor, although he continued to take calls for help well beyond that from many past co-workers.

He is survived by Karen Lea Donahoo Finney, his wife of 55 years; a son, Jason Finney; a daughter, Jennifer Leigh Donohoe; a brother, Bill Finney; a sister-in-law, Kathy Sweney; and five grandchildren: Taylor Donohoe, Chase Donohoe, Wilson Ehrhardt, Livingston Finney and Jameson Finney.

Prysmian Group, announced plans to expand its U.S. manufacturing facility in Pettis County, Missouri, which has seen substantial capital investment.

A press release said that the Prysmian Group plans a two-phase expansion of the facility, which manufactures aluminum building wire products for the commercial and institutional construction markets. Phase one, which was just completed, was a $3.5 million investment for new equipment purchases, existing building renovations and additional jobs. That includes a new machine that increases the plant’s capacity for producing aluminum building wire, which is in high demand. The addition includes an expansion of distribution operations in Sedalia and the addition of more jobs to fully exploit this exciting business opportunity.

“The Sedalia plant is an important area of our business serving a growing market,” said Prysmian Group North America COO Giacomo Sofia. “The investment in the expansion is an important step in continuing to support our customers. Phase one will not only increase opportunities in Sedalia, but it also reduces our operating costs and allows us to be more efficient and cost competitive. The plant has a deep history in the area, and we are thrilled that we continue to grow our footprint.”

Prysmian SpA and one of its subsidiaries have commenced proceedings for patent infringement in the U.K. High Court against Emtelle UK Limited (Emtelle), claiming it has infringed two of its patents. The action follows prior legal actions.

A press release said that Prysmian, and its U.K. subsidiary, believe that Emtelle’s FibreFlow products infringe the U.K. designations of Prysmian’s European Patents EP (UK) 1,420,279 B1 and EP (UK) 1,668,392B1 patents for fiber optic cables. Emtelle has not issued a response to the claims.

“The Group has undertaken intense R&D activities and major investments over the years, and our telecom cables can now boast the industry record for fibre count and density, with many innovative patents filed in the field of optical cables and related technologies,” said Philippe Vanhille, EVP of Telecom Business at Prysmian Group. “For this reason, we are more and more attentive to protecting our technology and investment against any unauthorized use of our patents.”

Prysmian previously filed a similar action in Germany last July against a competitor company related to the unauthorized use of its European Patents EP1668392 B1 (EP ‘392) and EP 2390700 B1 (EP ‘700).

The EP ‘392 patent relates to telecommunication optical cables, and in particular to a telecommunication optical cable with a highly reduced diameter. The patent relates its 288-fiber ezMICRODUCT cable, which uses a 200-micron fiber, which enables the cable to have an outer diameter of only 8 mm. The cable’s design includes 24 fibers per tube, making the fibers easier to identify and fit into standard splicing trays, according to the company. The fiber cable will operate in the -40°F to 158°F temperature range. A company announcement noted that the technology allowed just 24 fibers to be needed per tube. The second patent, EP ‘700, relates to optical fiber telecommunications cables, particularly an optimized stranded optical cable design using bundled cable units.

LS Cable & System (LS C&S) reports that it has started mass-producing aluminum wires for electric vehicles.

Per a report in The Korea Herald, LS C&S expanded its investment in aluminum wires as it believes that aluminum will become a key material for vehicles amid growing competition in EV industries. Aluminum conductor wires are 40% lighter than conventional copper wires and can reduce the weight of wires from 25 kg per vehicle to about 15 kg, it noted.

LS C&S said it has built a factory exclusively for aluminum wire production in South Korea. The report said that it did so because if production facilities for copper and aluminum wire are combined, copper particles can corrode aluminum. Many companies in Japan are also building aluminum-only facilities.

The company said the proportion of aluminum wires in the domestic wire market will be more than 30% by 2025, up from about 5%. The firm’s aluminum wires are currently supplied to the nation’s largest automakers, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors.

“Through LS Alsco, a subsidiary that specializes in the aluminum business, we can supply high-strength aluminum and produce them in batches from materials to finished wire products,” said LS Cable & System. “We are also considering additional investments as we are about to sign a supply contract with a global wiring harness company.”

U.K.-based Diploma PLC announced that it has agreed to acquire Windy City Wire (WCW), a U.S.-based manufacturer and distributor of low voltage wire and cable, for approximately $465 million.

Per a report by Reuters, the deal calls for an initial payment of about $450 million, and a later payment of $15 million if conditions are met. Based in Bolingbrook, Illinois, WCW has an additional 18 locations nationwide.

Per a report in proactiveinvestors.co.uk, “WCW, whose management team will stay with the business, enhances Diploma’s existing position in the controls market, ‘with a core product we understand,’ and offers ‘exciting organic growth potential taking market share in structurally attractive end segments.’”

Graycliff Partners LP announced that it has completed its acquisition of Gerard Daniel Worldwide, a leading manufacturer and distributor of wire mesh and other wire products.

A press release said that Gerard Daniel, founded in 1952, has grown from a domestic reseller of wire mesh into a full-service manufacturer and distributor of more than 5,000 wire mesh and related products to over 3,000 customers worldwide. The company’s products are used for filtration, sound suppression, heat dispersion and electro-chemical applications, and sold into end markets such as automotive, aerospace, energy, pharmaceutical, electronics, food and general manufacturing. Based in Hanover, Pennsylvania, the company serves its global customer base from 11 manufacturing and distribution facilities in the U.S., Canada and Ireland.

“Gerard Daniel has evolved into an impressive global competitor in wire mesh applications over its history,” said Graycliff Partners Managing Director Andrew Trigg. He observed that being part of Graycliff Partners will enable Gerard Daniels to deepen its “operational efficiencies through data and digital investments, expansion into new technologies like synthetic materials and applications, and effectuate and integrate strategic acquisitions.”

“We realized ... it was the right time to capitalize on the market potential by bringing on a financial partner,” said Gary Shultis, shareholder and Gerard Daniel’s former CEO of 35 years. Gerard Daniel is the initial investment in Graycliff’s fourth private equity fund.

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