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An ambitious initiative led by Facebook and telecom carriers—dubbed 2Africa—has tabbed Alcatel Submarine Systems to supply 37,000 km of cable that is nearly triple the existing data capacity from sub-sea cables now serving Africa.

Per multiple media reports, Facebook Inc. and some of the world’s largest telecom carriers—including China Mobile, South Africa’s MTN, France’s Orange and Britain’s Vodafone as well as local network operators on the project—are joining forces to build the massive sub-sea cable, which is designed to bring more reliable and faster internet across Africa. The cost of the project will be just under $1 billion, according to one report that cited anonymous sources described as being “familiar with the project."

2Africa will connect Europe to the Middle East and 16 African countries, according to the reports. The undersea cable sector is experiencing a resurgence. Now tech giants, led by Facebook and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, are behind some 80% of the recent investment in transatlantic cable, driven by demand for fast-data transfers used for streaming movies to social messaging.

“2Africa is a continuation of our ongoing efforts to expand global network infrastructure,” a statement from Facebook said. “We have collaborated with partners all over the world to build several subsea fiber-optic cables that are leading the industry in terms of reach, capacity, and flexibility.”

The 2Africa cable will be one of the longest in the world, trailing Sea-Me-We 3, which is 39,000 km long and connects 33 countries, according to Submarine Cable Networks. Of note, Google is also working on an underwater cable, called Equiano, which would connect Africa with Europe.

South Korea’s LS Cable & System (LS C&S) reports that it has won a contract from TenneT to supply 210 km of HV cable for the grid connection of the Dutch offshore wind farms Hollandse Kust Noord and West Alpha.

A press release said that the overall project—which includes Jan De Nul Group, a marine construction company—was worth more than €100 million. The order represents “the first large contracts from Europe, the home of cables.” It added that it also puts LS C&S in a good position for future demand from “newly established EU HQ and expanding production subsidiaries.”"

The release said that the bidding process considered technical capabilities, quality of business operations in combination with pricing. “The evaluation of the bid shows that the winning consortium has the most economically advantageous proposal to carry out the challenging project.”

The Netherlands is constructing offshore wind farms with a total capacity of more than 11 gigawatts by 2030. The two offshore wind farms, it said, will have a total capacity of 1.4GW in the Dutch coastal waters by 2023.

Since 2012, LS C&S has supplied power cable to the U.K., Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium. The company expects that the European submarine cable market will be worth billions of euros over the next five years. “LS C&S is planning to build on this major project and to do everything in its power to win more contracts for submarine cable projects in Western Europe including The Netherlands.”

Two transmission system operators—TenneT TSO GmbH and 50Hertz Transmission GmbH—have awarded contracts to the Prysmian Group and NKT GmbH to supply a total of 1,000 km of 525kV underground power cable for the 2-GW SuedOstLink transmission line in Germany.

When completed, the SuedOstLink will be the world’s first large commercial 525 kV XLPE high-voltage DC 2GW transmission line. The initiative is part of German corridor projects to significantly increase renewable energy supply in the country. The overall project, being funded within the EU’s Connecting Europe framework, will see TenneT and 50Hertz investing some €5 billion.

“The underground cables are the heart of SuedOstLink,” said TenneT Managing Director Tim Meyerjürgens. “We will use the innovative, plastic-insulated 525 kV underground cables for the first time worldwide, and will thus set new standards in technology and the reduction of environmental impact.” He noted that with the higher voltage level, the cables can transmit more power than a conventional 320 kV cable systems. “The route can be narrower and the necessary civil engineering work during the construction phase will decrease.”

Prysmian and NKT will each supply about 500 km of 525 kV cable, both using their own insulation designs, Prysmian will supply power cable with its P-laser technology while NKT will provide its XLPE technology. There is a total of five cable lots, three being provided by NKT.

Per a Prysmian press release, its contract from TenneT TSO GmbH, a Dutch-German grid operator, calls for the company to design, manufacture, supply, lay, joint, test and commission the 2GW underground cable system through the TenneT region of this first German Corridor. It will include Prysmian’s innovative P-Laser insulation technology that will help enable a transmittable power of more than 2GW on a single system for the first time. The contract is valued at approximately €500 million, depending on options.

“This prestigious award confirms our ambition to play a strategic role in the shift towards a low-carbon economy and to drive the energy transition forwards with smarter, more reliable and more sustainable solutions,” said Prysmian Group CEO Valerio Battista. “It gives us great satisfaction to be involved in the development of this vital infrastructure project and to set this milestone in the upgrading of the E.U. power transmission grid.”

Per an NKT press release, the company will deliver to 50Hertz Transmission GmbH its XLPE cable for the NKT expects to start production of the high-voltage DC power cables and accessories by the end of 2021, with installation in mid-2022 and final completion in 2025. NKT has a strong footprint in Germany, with facilities in Cologne, Nordenham and Berlin, and it has worked with 50Hertz on other projects, all of which made it an ideal choice.

“I am very pleased that we have booked our largest high-voltage DC order ever by getting a significant part of the SuedOstLink project,” said NKT President and CEO Alexander Kara. “This underlines our role as a key partner in the green transformation of Germany.”

Hellenic Cables announced that it will be a supplier for two projects, one for Denmark and the other for the U.S.

A press release said that Energinet, an electricity transmission company owned by the state of Denmark, has selected Hellenic Cables as one of the three cable manufacturers in the framework agreement for underground high voltage cable systems (145-170 kV). In addition to supplying H-V cables, the contract includes all the other elements needed for Denmark’s high-voltage onshore network. The eight-year contract (2020-2028) will require an estimated 4,200 km of cable during the cited timeframe. The cable orders will be distributed to the three manufacturers either by direct assignment or by competitions between participating manufacturers per the Framework Agreement. Hellenic Cables will make the 145-170 kV cables at its plant in Thebes.

Hellenic Cables also reported that, in the U.S., it has an agreement with Semco Maritime A/S to supply inter-array cables for the Mayflower Wind project, a joint venture of Shell New Energies US LLC and EDPR Offshore North America LLC. The offshore wind project is expected to start-up in 2025. The company will provide some 300 km of 66 kV, XLPE insulated submarine inter-array cables that will connecting the project’s wind turbines to its offshore substation. The cables will be manufactured at Hellenic Cables’ submarine cable production facility in Corinth, Greece. The order is expected to be completed by the end of 2023, with final installation expected around 2025.

CommScope reports that its fiber optic and copper cabling has been installed in Allegiant Stadium, the new 65,000-seat home of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Per the company, CommScope supplied227 miles of fiber and more than 1.5 million ft of copper cable that will enable the stadium to offer the “ultimate experience for Raiders fans,” with more than 2,400 screens, 1,700 Wi-Fi access points, and Allegiant Stadium’s Distributed Antenna System (DAS). The 100 G fiber backbone and 10 G Cat. 6A copper will deliver connectivity for critical stadium systems and applications such as security cameras, fire and safety, HVAC and lighting controls, wayfinding, ticketing, concessions, merchandise and parking.

“CommScope’s fiber optic cabling delivers the high-bandwidth connectivity needed for a truly compelling and interactive Las Vegas Raiders fan experience,” said a Raiders spokesperson. “This includes 4K-ready video replays, as well as live streams captured by multiple cameras. With CommScope fiber, Allegiant Stadium is well positioned for the future and ready to accommodate an ever-increasing number of standard client devices such as smartphones and tablets, along with evolving technology like AR glasses and virtual reality (VR) helmets.”

The CommScope fiber brings connectivity to all 10 levels of Allegiant Stadium, from the event level to the semi-translucent ETFE roof. Fans can use their Raiders mobile app throughout the facility to find parking spaces, locate concession stands, order food directly to their seats and share their experience on social sites via live streamed videos. CommScope’s copper cabling will connect in-house applications while its coaxial cables will connect the new DAS system. CommScope notes that it is one of the few companies that can provide a comprehensive portfolio of Wi-Fi, fiber and copper infrastructure.

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