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Wire Journal News

Whitmor/Wirenetics, a custom cable manufacturer based in California, has been acquired by BJG Electronics Group, Inc. (BJG).

In a brief announcement at the Whitmor/Wirenetics website, it states the following. “Long Island, New York based-electronics distributor and Rockwood portfolio company BJG Electronics, Inc. (BJG), along with its affiliates, announced today the acquisition of Whitmor/Wirenetics. Headquartered in Valencia, California, Whitmor/Wirenetics has been a leading provider of high-performance wire, cable and tubing to the military, aerospace and satellite industries for more than 50 years.”

Connector Tech LLC was described in a later announcement as “a Montana-based value-added distributor of high-reliability electronic interconnect products.”

“The combined BJG Electronics Group line card now offers a true ‘one-stop’ solution for OEMs, harness houses and box builders in the military, aerospace and related harsh environment markets,” said a statement from BJG Electronics Group President Rick Flora. The People section on p. 26 has more details on personnel.

Corning Optical Communications (Corning) plans to build a new facility for producing fiber optic cable in Poland.

Per a report in Puls Biznesu, the new plant will be located in the town of Mszczonow, in the county of Zyrardow in the Mazowieckie region. The investment will amount to approximately US$93 million, and Corning expects to employ at least 240 people there, “including 85 with higher education.”

Corning, which owns more than a hundred plants and branches worldwide, established its first Polish plant in 2001 in Łódź. Production began in 2002, and in 2007 the plant was relocated to Stryków, where it opened an R&D department. Today, it has almost 3,000 employees in Poland. In 2017, Corning had more than 2,000 employees in Poland, and the next year it opened a second telecom equipment plant in Stryków. Corning now accounts for more than 82,200 sq m in two warehousing and production buildings.

The International Wire Group (IWG) announced that it has acquired Owl Wire and Cable (Owl Wire), a manufacturer of bare and tinned wire with three plants, from Marmon Holdings, Inc.

A press release said that the acquisition of Owl Wire, a family company founded in 1954, includes its three New York plants in Canastota, Rome and Boonville. It said that the deal will benefit both companies, expanding IWG’s global manufacturing footprint while enabling Owl Wire to add to its existing copper capabilities as a high volume, heavy bare and tinned wire supplier.

“This new partnership is a ‘win-win’ for the loyal customers and workforces of both IWG and Owl, and for the communities we are privileged to serve,” said IWG President and CEO Greg Smith. “By integrating Owl’s manufacturing capabilities and superior customer service into our already market-leading company, we will create a unique platform to serve current and future customers. The new IWG will continue to deliver high-quality, precise wire and cable products for mission-critical applications that power our global economy. We know the Owl team well, and are thrilled to welcome them to IWG.”

“We are thrilled to join the IWG organization. In doing so, the combination of IWG and Owl will bring an unparalleled benefit to the industry, one with the broadest and deepest capabilities to better serve our customers’ needs,” said Bob Raiti, president of Owl Wire and Cable.

IWG, which was acquired in 2019 by Atlas Holdings, notes that it is the largest bare copper wire and copper wire products manufacturer in the U.S.

Per a spokesperson, Owl Wire has about 180 employees. The company’s management team will remain in place at this time, and any operational changes made would be focused “around improving service levels to IWG’s loyal customers.” 

JDR Cable Systems, Ltd., reports that it has won a contract from Equinor to supply the cables for the first floating offshore wind project to power oil and gas platforms.

A press release said that the project calls for JDR to supply 11 66kV dynamic inter-array cables (2. 5 km long each) and two static export cables (one 12. 9 km, the other 16 km), each equipped with a JDR designed breakaway system, and a range of cable accessories. The off-shore location is in the Tampen area in the North Sea, and delivery is scheduled for 2022.

The project, the release said, will be the first worldwide to power oil and gas platforms using floating offshore wind, which it described as “a far more technically challenging and less mature technology than traditional fixed-foundation offshore wind.” It said that cables pose a particular challenge due to the high dynamic stress they must withstand.

The Hywind Tampen project will consist of 11 wind turbines developed by Equinor. The 8 MW turbines will have a total capacity of 88 MW, capable of meeting about 35 per cent of the annual power demand of the five Snorre A and B, Gullfaks A, B and C oil and gas platforms. The floating wind project is in water depths of 300 meters, much deeper than any previous floating wind project and is the first ever to power oil and gas platforms. The cabes that will be delivered to connect the loop to the Snorre A and Gullfaks A platforms will be especially designed to withstand higher water pressures.

JDR, part of Poland’s TFKable Group, notes in the release that it has already been active in the fledgling sub-sector of this new niche, delivering the world’s first application of dynamic 66kV technology and breakaway system to the Windfloat Atlantic floating wind farm last year. The power cores for the cables will be manufactured by JDR’s parent company TFKable at its Bydgoszcz factory in Poland. All the cables and accessories will be assembled at JDR’s U.K. facilities in Hartlepool.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), finding that imported aluminum wire and cable from China was sold below market rates and had been supported by illegal subsidies, has imposed substantial penalties.

A press release said the ruling supports the Oct. 22 findings of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DoC) that Chinese manufacturers had been selling these products into the U.S. market at less than fair market value and receiving illegal subsidies from the Chinese government. It issued two separate penalties that ITC has now approved.

DoC had set a dumping rate of 63.47% for mandatory respondents Shanghai Silin Special Equipment Co., Ltd. and Hebei Huatong Wires and Cables Group Co., Ltd.; a separate rate of 58.51% for certain other companies; and 63.47% for all other Chinese producers and exporters. The subsidy rate was 165.63% to mandatory respondents Shanghai Silin Special Equipment Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Yang Pu Qu Gong; 33.44% to mandatory respondent Changfeng Wire & Cable Co., Ltd.; and 33.44% for all other Chinese producers and exporters.

An official of Southwire Company, which along with Encore Wire Corporation had petitioned for the penalties, lauded the decision. “Southwire has long been a believer in the power of free trade, and the ITC’s finding, coupled with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s final determinations on dumping and illegal subsidization, will better al-
low us to compete with Chinese producers of wire and cable on a level playing field,” said Southwire Executive Vice President and CCO Norman Adkins.

With the ITC vote, Commerce was expected to issue AD/CVD orders by Dec. 9, 2019. Commerce will also instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to begin collecting cash deposits on such imports at rates ranging from 81.27% to 218.42%. In 2018, imports of aluminum wire and cable from China were valued at an estimated $115 million.

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