Wirenet Image Band
wirenet.org mobile image band

Wire Journal News

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 comany 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.

The Bekaert Group announced that it will phase out its U.S. steel wire operations at its Shelbyville plant in Kentucky, laying off approximately a hundred employees.

A press release said that Bekaert intends to phase out the steel wire production at the plant by January 2020. The Shelbyville plant makes steel wire for various applications and markets, including the construction, consumer goods and various industrial sectors.

“External developments in demand and pricing trends have had a negative impact on the profitability and competitive position of Bekaert Shelbyville over the past years, calling for a realignment of our steel wire solutions activities in the country,” the release said. The Dramix® production line serving concrete reinforcement markets will remain in Shelbyville until a permanent location is determined.

Some of the product lines made at Shelbyville will be moved to two other U.S. Bekaert plants—Van Buren, Arkansas, and Orrville, Ohio—while others will be stopped or sourced and distributed through alternative channels. The plan is to extend the manufacturing operations in Van Buren and Orrville with the respective technology and expertise.

“Management regrets the need to implement this measure, but sees no other option to safeguard a long-term competitive position of its steel wire activities in North America,” the release said. “The business conditions have trended lower in various sectors as a result of tighter markets and continued uncertainty. Our tire markets held up well in the first nine months of 2019 but are expected to slow down in the fourth quarter as a result of the normal seasonality and destocking actions throughout the supply chain in anticipation of a continued weak business climate. The steel wire solutions activities are projected to further contract in the last quarter, mainly because of the impact of the social protest actions in Latin America, trade tariffs, and further economic slowdown globally. We do not foresee a downturn in construction markets other than the usual seasonality impact and we expect the business environment of Bridon-Bekaert Ropes Group to remain challenging.

In this scenario of economic slowdown and year-end seasonality, Bekaert continues to implement actions to offset the external headwinds, said the release, which focused on specific elements. “These actions are focused on managing cost, pricing, mix and footprint and aim to deliver an improvement of the underlying business performance. We are also further improving our working capital level and debt position and are well on track to bring our debt leverage below 2.5 by year-end.”

Page 1 of 39

Gallery

 

Contact us

The Wire Association Int.

71 Bradley Road, Suite 9

Madison, CT 06433-2662

P: (203) 453-2777