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The Prysmian Group has won a contract worth approximately €200 million from Vineyard Wind, LLC, that will require a total of 134 km of power cables for a project that was described as the first U.S. utility-scale offshore wind energy project.

A press release said that Prysmian Group will be responsible for the design, manufacture, installation and commissioning of an HVAC (High Voltage Alternating Current) cable system for the project, which is located 14 miles off the coast of Massachusetts. The two, 220 kV three-core cables, which will use extruded XLPE insulation, will be produced at the Prysmian Group’s plants in Pikkala, Finland, and Arco Felice, Italy. Installation operations will be performed by two Prysmian Group cable-laying vessels: the Cable Enterprise and Ulisse. Delivery and commissioning are scheduled for 2021.

The release said that Prysmian will also provide PRY-CAM permanent monitoring solutions that include long-range Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) and Real Time Thermal Rating (RTTR) systems that collect and analyze data by ways of an artificial intelligence interface, which generates automated alarm signals if a critical situation is identified. “PRY-CAM is the Group’s breakthrough technology that allows on-line, accurate and reliable in-depth information to helps electric assets owners to increase uptime, asset longevity and safety, while reducing maintenance costs and risks.”

“This contract reinforces Prysmian Group’s leading position in the submarine cable market and underpins both our continued role and our commitment to the North American offshore wind sector,” the release said. Hakan Ozmen, EVP Projects, Prysmian Group, observed that the U.S. offshore wind market “is now demonstrating a high level of motivation with a promising growth forecast and we are excited to contribute to realizing this opportunity.”

The project will provide power for some 400,000 homes and businesses while reducing carbon emissions by over 1.6 million tons per year, the release said. To date, there has been just one off-shore wind farm, that the small (30 MW) Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island that began operation in 2016. More projects are now underway or planned, with the state of New York alone seeking to achieve 2,400 MW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.

An offshore wind development company, Vineyard Wind, LLC, is 50% owned by funds of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and 50% by Avangrid Renewables (part of the Iberdrola Group).

NKT has been awarded a turnkey project from Equinor Energy AS for 132 kV high-voltage cable that will connect the oil and gas platforms Johan Sverdrup 2 and Gina Krog.

 A press release said that Equinor selected NKT as the turnkey supplier for the high-voltage cable project connecting the oil and gas platforms Gina Krog and Johan Sverdrup 2 in the North Sea. The order, worth approximately 29 million euros, includes the supply and installation of 62 km of a 132 kV AC XLPE high-voltage power cable solution. Connecting the platforms allows Equinor to power Gina Krog from shore by leveraging the already planned power link connecting Johan Sverdrup 2 to the onshore power grid, currently under development by NKT.

“By connecting the two platforms we confirm our strong market position as a reliable turnkey provider of high quality cable systems in the oil and gas segment supporting the growing industry focus on reducing its CO2 emissions,” said NKT Executive Vice President and Head of HV Solutions Andreas Berthou. He noted that the company’s ability to provide the cable, and install it, using its cable laying vessel, the NKT Victoria, was “a differentiator.”

NKT is currently executing on the power cable link connecting Johan Sverdrup 2 to shore. The power from shore connections for the platforms Johan Sverdrup 1 and Martin Linge were recently completed.

Elkem, Inc., announced that it has entered into a partnership with Schlenk Metal Foils to provide RF shielding materials and conductors that are superior to traditionally used flat-rolled wire.

A press release said that there is increasing demand for shielding materials with higher flexibility, reduced thickness, greater width and extended lifetime in the high-frequency cable market, where traditionally rolled silvered copper has limitations. Partnering with Schlenk, an industry leader in rolled metal foils technology, Elkem, which provides specialized electroplating, is now able to offer advanced RF shielding based on silver-plated copper foil.

"The products created from our partnership will enable cable manufacturers to design thinner conductors with higher aspect ratios that are also more flexible and durable," said Schlenk Sales Manager Thorben Beckmann.

Elkem Inc. Vice President Jeff Lawrence said that the RF shielding materials and conductors are available now, both for R&D sample quantities and full-volume production orders. He noted that Elkem, which will exhibit at Interwire at Booth 254, is expanding its plating equipment to provide increased capacity to the market.

Sparkle, an Italian international service provider, announced plans for deployment of BlueMed, a submarine multi-fiber cable that will link Palermo with Genoa.

A press release said that the new cable, to be operational by 2020, will cross the Tyrrhenian Sea connecting Sparkle’s Sicily Hub open data center in Palermo. The data center, which serves 18 international cables with Genoa’s new open landing station, will be directly connected to Milan’s rich digital ecosystem. BlueMed will also include multiple branches within the Tyrrhenian Sea and is set to support further extensions southbound of Sicily.

BlueMed, the release said, will have a capacity up to 240 Tbps, and the cable will be approximately 1,000-km long. The system will provide advanced connectivity between Middle East, Africa, Asia and the European mainland hubs with up to 50% latency reduction than existing terrestrial cables connecting Sicily with Milan.

Sparkle’s new open landing station in Genoa is set to become the alternative priority access for other upcoming submarine cables looking for a diversified entry way to Europe, thus strengthening Italy’s role as digital gateway between Africa, Middle East, Asia and Europe, the release said.

Sparkle is part of the TIM Group, which owns and manages a global and technologically advanced proprietary network of about 530,000 km of fiber that include three major regional systems in Europe, the Mediterranean and the Americas as well as an extensive ownership in major international submarine cables.

Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), a business of Nokia, has signed a contract to supply the Southern Cross NEXT submarine cable the technology it needs to enable it to provide the lowest latency connection between major data centers in Sydney or Auckland and Los Angeles.

Per media reports, the $350 million Southern Cross NEXT project, based on an open-cable architecture, will provide an additional 72 terabits per second of capacity for Southern Cross customers, adding to the existing 20 terabits of capacity potential of the current Southern Cross systems. It is scheduled for completion in 2021.

The NEXT cable will be the largest capacity, lowest latency link between the U.S. West coast and Sydney and Auckland. The contract also includes key interconnecting infrastructure for the South Pacific, providing what Southern Cross says is a reliable direct information pipeline to connect those participating nations—Fiji, Tokelau and Kiribati—to the world, and greater options to the existing cables from Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga connecting to Southern Cross today in Fiji.

The system will provide full fiber connectivity to Auckland, New Zealand, and will incorporate Branching Units (BU) and OADM technology for connections to Fiji, Tokelau and Kiribati. The Marine Survey was completed in 2017, and Sydney BMH and bore landing facilities were completed in 2018, along with landing arrangements in Los Angeles and Auckland.

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