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Wire Journal News

June 2024

Google announced that it will launch the first-ever submarine cable route between Africa and Australia, named “Umoja,” a Swahhili word that means unity.

 A press release said that the fiber optic route will pass through Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, including the Google Cloud region, before crossing the Indian Ocean to Australia. Umoja’s terrestrial path was built in collaboration with Liquid Intelligent Technologies to form a highly scalable route through Africa, including access points that will allow other countries to take advantage of the network.

Umoja joins Equiano in an initiative called Africa Connect. Umoja will enable African countries to more reliably connect with each other and the rest of the world. Establishing a new route distinct from existing connectivity routes is critical to maintaining a resilient network for a region that has historically experienced high-impact outages.

Since Google opened its first Sub-Saharan Africa office in Nairobi in 2007, the company has partnered with governments from countries across Africa on numerous digital initiatives. In 2021, Google committed to invest $1 billion in Africa over five years to support a range of efforts, from improved connectivity to investment in startups, to help boost Africa’s digital transformation. “Since then, Google has invested more than $900 million in the region, and we expect to fulfill our commitment by 2026. ... Google is as committed as ever to partnering with communities, businesses, and governments in Africa to help foster even more innovation across the continent.”

Published in Industry News

Prysmian reported that the company has received antitrust clearance in the U.S. for its recently announced deal to buy Encore Wire.

A press release said that completion of the deal remains conditional on approval of Encore Wire’s shareholders “and the fulfillment of other conditions precedent typical for this type of transaction.” In related news, the company said that the acquisition of the McKinney, Texas-based company was going well, and that the result of synergies should be seen at an even quicker pace.

Per published reports, CEO Chief Executive Massimo Battaini told analysts that the outlook or Prysmian’s $4.2 billion acquisition of Encore Wire was quite good. “We started already outlining and discussing with the counterpart the major action to be undertaken the day one after the closing ... to capture the expected $140 million synergies with a faster pace than what we anticipated,” he said.

Published in Industry News

Begium-based Jan De Nul announced that it plans to add to its cable-laying fleet to serve demands from the transition to renewable energy.

A press release said that the new XL ship will be the fifth vessel in Jan De Nul Group’s cable-laying fleet that has installed 2,500 km of submarine cables in 25 countries over the past decade. It notes that its projects include connecting Crete to mainland Greece, a span of 135 km at depths to 1,000 m, with “to put it mildly, bitterly rough and challenging seabed.”

The company has bookings for installing 2,500 km of cable that led to the order for a new XL cable-laying vessel. “With this second XL cable-laying vessel, we continue to reinforce our pioneering role,” said Jan Van de Velde, director new building, Jan De Nul Group.

Like the Fleeming Jenkin, the vessel will be 215 m long, designed to transport 28,000 tons of cables, the largest capacity cable-laying vessels in the world. The vessels can lay cables in both shallow and ultra-deep waters up to 3,000 meters, handling cable tensions of up to 150 tons.

Both vessels are equipped with Ultra-Low Emission vessel (ULEv) technology, an advanced dual exhaust filter system. This system removes up to 99% of nanoparticles from emissions using a diesel particulate filter (DPF) and a selective catalytic reduction system (SCR) for NOx removal. The ULEv system also significantly reduces exhaust gas pollutants. Thanks to the ULEv system, the vessels comply with the strict European Stage V emission standards for inland waterway vessels.

Published in Industry News

An April 4 fire that smoldered for days resulted in massive destruction of stored cables in a warehouse that is owned by Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB).

Per a report in the Daily Expresswhich included a photo of an outside storage area with hundreds of large cable reels, many of which were ablaze— the fire devastated the warehouse and outdoor reels that were stored for distribution across the state. The casualties included 70 newly arrived drums of cables, alongside the existing inventory destined for various regions. A local fire official indicated that of an area of about 3.7 acres “a significant portion of 3 acres suffer(ed) direct damage.”

Estimates pegged the losses at more than $8 million, much of which was for the loss “of more than 1,000 drums of cables.” The damages are significant for SESB as it will require “a prolonged and expensive process of reallocating funds and time to reorder the essential materials.”

The article noted that there were eight types of cables destroyed, most of which were coated cables designed to replace older, bare cables. SESB estimated that some 5,000 km of uncoated cables are in use that should be replaced, while current capacity only allows for 300 km of cables. “Without implementing a comprehensive cable replacement program, it is projected to take approximately 20 years to address the widespread issue of uncoated cables across the state.”

Published in Industry News

Neelkanth Cable Manufacturing LLC recently inaugurated its new plant in Dubai Industrial City that will make low-voltage, medium-voltage, conductors and instrumentation cables.

A press release said that Neelkanth Cable’s new 500,000 sq-ft plant in the UAE represents “a significant milestone in its journey beyond Africa.” Founded in 2015 and based in Zambia, Neelkanth Cables (headquartered in Zambia) has marketed to industry sectors in the Southern, Central and East African regions, while steadily making inroads into the rest of Africa. At its website, the company notes that it has gained a leading role. “Over the years, we have acquired more than 50% market share in the domestic market for low-voltage and medium-voltage cables.”

The new plant, with a workforce of about 200, has the capacity to produce 13,000 metric tons of copper cable and 7,000 metric tons of aluminum cable. The output will serve sectors such as power transmission and distribution, oil, gas, petroleum, construction, infrastructure, packaging, and specialized industries like fertilizer, cement, steel, chemical, metals and mining,

“We are committed to supporting the local community and the economic ecosystem of the UAE, intending to proudly contribute to Dubai’s growth and development for years to come,” said Neelkanth Cables Manufacturing LLC COO Sanjeev Dubey. “Dubai Industrial City was our first choice for the new facility due to its strategic location close to major transportation hubs facilitating efficient logistics and distribution, its modern infrastructure providing a conducive environment for various industrial activities, and excellent support services including business set-up assistance, licensing, and approvals.”

Published in Industry News

Belden, a leading global supplier of network infrastructure and digitization solutions, has officially opened the company’s new state-of-the-art Fiber Technology Center (FTC) in Tucson, Arizona.

A press release said that the 300,000-sq-ft facility will serve as a multifunctional hub where Belden’s fiber experts lead optical fiber cable and connectivity innovation, research and development. It will also support warehousing, distribution, administration and manufacturing as the company continues to grow its optical fiber capabilities.

The FTC will amplify the work being done in the company’s existing fiber facilities and test labs around the world, including eight manufacturing plants and two research and development sites. It is located close to airports, freight terminals and logistics hubs as well as to the University of Arizona and the area’s talented tech workforce.

The FTC will streamline and strengthen Belden’s supply chain and increase production of U.S.-based optical fiber manufacturing while connecting qualified engineers to new career opportunities. Advantages include quicker access to products on the West Coast, FiberExpress fiber assemblies made and shipped in two to five business days; same-day shipping on some products; and prototyping capabilities.

“As Belden continues to expand fiber production and innovation to help customers build the future, the Fiber Technology Center will allow us to elevate our work and find new ways to respond to customer demand,” said Jay Wirts, executive vice president of enterprise solutions at Belden. “Belden is becoming synonymous with fiber systems.”

Published in Industry News

Numesh held a grand opening ceremony and ribbon-cutting event on May 14 to celebrate the company’s official opening of its plant in Cainsville, in the county of Brant, part of Canada’s Ontario province.

A press release said that the existing facility was upgraded and received the latest technology and equipment. Numesh invested some $40 million in the initiative. The upgrades will help the company meet increasing demands and serve customers across Ontario, Western Canada, and the North Central U.S. There are currently more than 50 employees at this location.

Per Numesh, the company, founded in 1975 in Laval, Quebec, is the largest Canadian manufacturer of welded steel wire and wire mesh used for concrete reinforcement. They have invested approximately $40 million to expand to this second location.

Numesh President Mathieu Seguin told those in attendance that the Cainsville facility is a testament to the company’s vision, innovation, and commitment to the construction industry in Canada. “It represents the culmination of months, even years of meticulous planning, hard work, and determination,” said Seguin. “I am excited to share that this new plant signifies a substantial investment and commitment to the future. We have not only erected a cutting-edge facility but also set the stage for our growth.

“Thank you to Numesh for investing in the County of Brant,” said Cainsville Mayor David Bailey. “Their commitment not only creates job opportunities for skilled workers but also contributes positively to our local economy.”

Published in Industry News

Prysmian reports that it has agreed to a long-term contract with Aurubis—a global provider of nonferrous metals and the largest copper recycler worldwide—for the supply of copper wire rod.

A press release said that the agreement will see Aurubis provide a significant and incremental year-over-year volume of copper wire rod. It noted that Aurubis is the largest European vertically integrated manufacturer of copper wire rod. The pact will cover the needed supply of copper wire rod, particularly for Prysmian’s European plants, ensuring coverage of the current business and growth prospects.

“Our companies are connected by their strong commitment to integrating sustainability in our business strategies and our role as enablers of the energy transition and digitalization process,” said Prysmian Chief Purchasing Officer, Laura Colli.

The partnership is in line with Prysmian’s ambition to be a global player with a leading role in the challenges of decarbonization. Prysmian is committed to an overall net-zero target along the entire value chain by 2050 and to reducing Scope 3 emissions by 28% by 2030 compared to the 2019 baseline. Prysmian has also publicly disclosed an ambitious target related to the share of recycled copper content, with the goal of reaching 15-16% by 2025.

Aurubis is pursuing a dedicated sustainability strategy and is committed to becoming carbon neutral well before 2050. The multimetal company produces copper with less than half the global average carbon emissions and intends to further reduce Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 50% and Scope 3 emissions by 24% per ton of copper cathodes by 2030. The company offers comprehensive value chain solutions for the circular economy and produces rod with almost 40% less CO2 than the global average.

“This contract stems from a more than 25-year strategic partnership between Prysmian and Aurubis distinguished by best-in-class performance when it comes to sustainability, product, delivery timing, and quality of service in the supply of a raw material that is becoming increasingly important for the future of Prysmian’s business growth,” said Martin Sjoberg, SVP Commercial at Aurubis.

Published in Industry News

Citing current market forces and a surge in imported steel, Liberty Steel reported on April 19 that it is temporarily ceasing production of wire rod.

An announcement said that some 50 of the 79 employees at the facility in Georgetown, South Carolina would be laid off. The statement said that a flood of imports had led to decreased rod prices that made operations unprofitable. The company will continue to make steel mesh and welded steel products at the mill.

“Unfortunately, market forces are working against us in the rod market with the increase in imports and significant pressure on transportation costs,” declared Pieter Vanderwesthuizen, Liberty’s chief operating officer, in a written statement. “We fully intend to bring the rod mill back up as soon as it makes financial sense to do so. “We remain committed to the long-term viability of our Georgetown facility and continue to invest in the business,” he said.

Published in Industry News

Carlisle Companies Incorporated (CCI) announced that it has completed its $2 billion sale of its Carlisle Interconnect Technologies (CIT) unit to Amphenol Corporation, ending its direct activity in the wire and cable field.

A press release said that the sale of CIT “aligns with our Vision 2030 strategy and represents a significant milestone in our strategic pivot from a diversified industrial portfolio of businesses to a premier pure play building products company.”

Per the Carlisle website, the business started operations in Tarrytown, New York in 1940 as Tensolite, a name that it said stood for the finest in miniature insulated wire and cable. The first insulated wire product produced by the company was used to electrically heat the gloves and flight suits of World War II Air Force pilots. In 1959, Carlisle Interconnect Technologies (then Tensolite) became part of Carlisle Companies Incorporated, which will focus on innovative building envelope products and solutions for more energy efficient buildings

Published in Industry News
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