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Nexans reports that it will supply 80 km of 230 kV cable for a major offshore project on the eastern coast of the Arabian Gulf.

A press release said that Nexans will supply the composite submarine cables, which will be produced at its plant in Halden, Norway, while the fiber optic cable required for the project will be produced by the company’s specialized factory in Rognan. Cable installation is expected to begin in early 2022.
The order comes from McDermott, which in 2019 was chosen by Saudi Aramco—Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil and gas company—for a major expansion of the Marjan oil and gas field. The site, located in the Arabian Gulf, off the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, is undergoing expansion under the Marjan Crude Increment Programme announced in 2017. Discovered in 1967, the Marjan field is one of the oldest and biggest offshore oil and gas fields in the Arabian Gulf. It is currently undergoing expansion under the Marjan increment program (MIP) announced in 2017.

Saudi Aramco, the owner and operator of the field, announced the implementation of MIP to expand the crude production from the field to 800,000 barrels per day. It will help the oil major to maintain its overall maximum sustained crude production capacity at 12 million barrels a day. Front-end engineering and design (FEED) studies were started in 2017, while multiple developmental work packages for the expansion project were awarded in 2018 and 2019. The development program includes a new offshore gas-oil separation plant, and 24 offshore oil, gas, and water injection platforms.

Of note, Saudi Aramco awarded $18 billion worth of contracts for the engineering, procurement, and construction to boost production from both the Marjan and Berri offshore fields in July 2019.

ArcelorMittal announced that it has signed a deal that would see a significant injection of Italian state funding go into the Ilva steelworks it took over in 2018, and has since resulted in major losses.

Per multiple media reports, ArcelorMittal had threatened to return the long-troubled Ilva steel complex back to the Italian government. The world’s largest steel company noted that it lost 2 million euros a day in 2019, and that it had been negotiating with the government (Rome). The reported deal will see Rome taking an equity stake at least equal to Arcelor Mittal’s remaining liabilities against the original purchase price for Ilva. If the deal is completed, the original lease and purchase agreement under which ArcelorMittal took over Ilva, would close by May 2022.

Under the investment plan, Ilva will invest in lower-carbon steelmaking technologies, with a DRI (Direct Reduced Iron) facility to be built, funded and operated by outside investors, and an electric arc furnace to be built by ArcelorMittal. If the new investment plan cannot be completed by Nov. 30, ArcelorMittal said it could withdraw from the deal, subject to an agreed payment.

The future of the plant has been a challenge for successive Italian governments seeking to clean up the polluted site in the southern city of Taranto while safeguarding thousands of jobs. Last year, ArcelorMittal announced it was pulling out of the 2018 takeover agreement after parliament scrapped a guarantee of legal immunity from prosecution over environmental risks during a clean-up of the heavily polluting factory. What follows is a brief summation of past WJI stories about the Ilva complex.

The integrated steel plant, whose product range includes wire rod, has employed as many as 16,000 people, and thousands more as contractors. Capacity topped 11 million metric tons (mmt), with production at times representing as much as 40% of Italy’s steel production. The flip side was the cost for those achievements.
In 1991, Taranto was described as the most polluted city in Italy and Western Europe, and declared a high environmental risk area by the Ministry of Environment. The Ilva steel complex was deemed the largest offender. For years, there were complaints about pollution from the massive site, including “red dust” that coated the area. The European Pollutant Emission Register estimated that dioxin emissions from the Taranto Ilva operations were responsible for 30% of all such reported emissions in Italy in 2002. An even higher number was reported for 2004.

In recent years, the news has been crushing on multiple levels for Ilva. ArcelorMittal was criticized by trade unions that blamed the steel giant as well as by the ruling anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S)—a foe of big industry—for exiting a deal that would have safeguarded thousands of jobs. Ultimately, opinion has been split between those who see the business as a necessity due to its providing revenue to the area, and those who say that the environmental price has been far too high.

Encore Wire Corporation announced plans to further expand its campus in McKinney, Texas. Per comments in the company’s latest quarterly earnings report, the wire manufacturer’s expansion will be carried out in two phases, with the first phase beginning late in the first quarter of 2020.

Phase 1 will include a new 720,000-sq-ft facility on the north end of Encore’s existing campus, located at 1329 Millwood Road in McKinney. “The facility will act as a service center, modernizing our logistics to allow for increased throughput and provide the bandwidth necessary to capture incremental sales volumes,” the report stated.

Phase one will allow Encore to compete at a higher level in the marketplace while strengthening its industry-leading customer service and order fill rates, per the information. Construction on phase one is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021. Following shortly after, phase two will focus on repurposing Encore’s existing distribution center by expanding its manufacturing capacity significantly and extending its market reach. The second phase is anticipated to be complete in 2022.

“This is an exciting time for Encore’s employees, customers and stakeholders,” Encore Chairman, President and CEO Daniel L. Jones said in the report. “We’ve been under construction since inception, and we continue to grow today. Our two-phase expansion plans will extend our reach and increase manufacturing capacity to meet the growing needs of our customers.”

Encore Wire’s legacy traces back to its launching in 1989, as a 68,000-sq-ft industrial warehouse building in McKinney, Texas. “With support and dedication from our employees, our customers and our community, we have grown to over 2 million square feet under roof and stretch across 425 acres. Today, Encore Wire is a leading manufacturer of copper and aluminum residential, commercial and industrial building wire.”

LS C&S has won a turnkey contract valued at approximately $85 million for a submarine cable project to connect Bahrain’s tourist islands. 

A press release said that Bahrain EWA (Electricity & Water Authority) plans to run 25 km of power cable between the main islands of Bahrain southeast to the Hawar Islands, which are known as a “go to” destination for divers. The Bahrain government wants to develop the area as a tourist complex, so it plans to access electricity from the main island rather than build a power plant on one of the smaller islands.

Saudi-based ALGIHAZ Contracting Co. is the primary project contractor. LS C&S will take charge of the submarine cable portion, with the project scheduled to be completed in September 2021. The project was supported by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and there was fierce competition for the contract by major cable makers in Europe and Japan. LS C&S said in the release that its experience of global long-distance projects, such as Jeju-Jindo Island power grid (113 km), Qatar (100 km), Canada (35 km) and the U.S. (30 km), “greatly helped the company win the contract.”

“As the power grid is also closely related to national security and social unrest due to blackout, economic thinking alone will not determine suppliers,” LS C&S President and CEO Roe-hyun Myung said. “LS C&S is capitalizing on its products and construction competency to expand its advance into overseas and increasing domestic investments as well.”

The release also said that LS C&S dominated the Taiwanese submarine cable market, worth $420 million in 2019, and that the business has already begun to grow in earnest. “So, the company invested about $42 million in Donghae, Gangwon-do, and plans to complete a second plant this coming March.”

Messe Düsseldorf has rescheduled the world's largest wire and cable industry trade show, postponed because of the Coronavirus, to Dec. 7-11, 2020.

"It is very important for us to inform you of this new date as soon as possible in order to ensure planning security for the entire industry and its partners," said Wolfram N. Diener, Managing Director of Messe Düsseldorf GmbH. "Our customers and partners can trust us to act calmly and responsibly even in difficult situations."

Existing contracts with Messe Düsseldorf remain valid for the new date, visitor tickets already purchased remain valid as well. 2,600 exhibitors in 15 halls are expected to present their latest machinery and equipment for wire and tube production, processing and finishing, end products, products and services.

The Düsseldorf hotel industry is also sending out an important signal through its umbrella organisation DEHOGA (Trade Association for the Hospitality Industry): "We appeal to our members and the entire industry to be flexible when it comes to rebooking by exhibitors and visitors. The Düsseldorf trade fairs such as wire and Tube play an enormously important role for the city, the hotel industry and the catering trade. It would be counterproductive not to show goodwill in this situation,” as both DEHOGA-Representatives Giuseppe Saitta (Chairman Düsseldorf/District Group Rhein-Kreis Neuss) and Rolf D. Steinert (Düsseldorf/Rhein-Kreis Neuss Hotels and Tourism Group) emphasize.  

Current information can be found in the Internet portals at: www.wire.de and www.Tube.de.

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