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Nexans’ new Cable Laying Vessel, the CLV Nexans Aurora, is one step closer to completion, with the launching of the vessel being built by Norway shipbuilder Ulstein Verft.

A press release said that the 149.9-m long and 31-m wide vessel will be working in the offshore renewables market, installing subsea cables including cables connecting offshore wind farms to the grid and interconnector systems. The hull arrived at Ulstein Verft in June, and was positioned in the roofed and controlled environment of the yard’s dock hall. During this period, various work tasks have been accomplished, including electrical installations, insulation work, installation of the remaining main equipment and cable lay equipment, etc.

The vessel will be positioned quayside at Ulstein Verft, where it will enter the last outfitting and start-up commissioning phases. The vessel boasts a concentric, split basket 10,000Te carousel, dual cable lay capabilities, utilization of separate Capstan or Tensioner firing lines, and should be able to complete operations in severe weather conditions.

The release said that the Aurora will be “the flagship in the Nexans fleet.” The vessel’s first assignment will be for the Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm off Scotland, starting in Q3 2021.

The vessel was developed in conjunction with Nexans, Skipsteknisk (ship design), Ulstein Verft (engineering and fitting), and MAATS Tech (cable installation equipment), each specialists in their fields, to produce the subsea cable and umbilical systems installation vessel intended for worldwide operations, from shallow and deep subsea activities. The vessel’s hull was built at the CRIST shipyard in Poland.

Italy’s TIM SpA has named five domestically based companies as suppliers for the fiber optic cables to be needed by its fixed network business, FiberCorp, for the next two years.

A press release said that the suppliers—Ecotel, Metallurgica Bresciana, Prysmian, Technikabel and Tratos—will supply TIM’s FiberCorp entity, which wants to connect 76% of underserved regions by 2025. Through a complex organization plan, the goal is to create a single access network in Italy, that will see FiberCorp merge with Open Fiber, the state-owned infrastructure company created by utility Enel and investment bank—and TIM shareholder—Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP). TIM will deploy fixed wireless access to the areas not covered by the FiberCorp plan in 2022.

The release said that winning companies confirmed that the development of the cables, the cut to length, quality control and storage will all be carried out within their company, at production and certification facilities and warehouses situated on national territory. “With this operation, TIM confirms its commitment in support of the country and its entrepreneurial fabric, with the aim of optimizing the excellence and quality of Italian production to develop a strategic infrastructure for digitization, which demands top performance and efficiency.”

FiberCorp has already taken the first steps to build its own network, closing and assigning the first of the two tenders for the supply of fiber optic cables. Tratos announced that it has won a €20 million fiber cable order.

Bombardier Transportation has agreed to sell the activities of its Electrical Wiring Interconnection Systems (EWIS) at its manufacturing site in Huehuetoca, Mexico (BT Ensambles México) to a subsidiary of Motherson Sumi Systems Limited (MSSL).

A press release said that the MSSL subsidiary will continue manufacturing the same electrical harnesses and assemblies as currently produced at the Huehuetoca site in Mexico. The divestment furthers its focus on reducing the activities to core and integration competencies. “The transaction is beneficial to both parties, since Bombardier Transportation has been seeking to establish a long-term supplier partnership for electrical harnesses and assemblies in the Americas region and MRS is an excellent partner for this,” said Elliot Sander, president, Americas Region, Bombardier Transportation.

The news follows a similar divestment last December that saw Bombardier sell its electrical wiring interconnection system (EWIS) assets in Querétaro, Mexico, to Latécoère. That deal included a long-term supply agreement for Latécoère to supply EWIS to Bombardier. In February 2019, Bombardier sold its wiring harnesses assets in Derby, U.K., to a subsidiary of MSSL.

United Arab Emirates’ Ducab HV, a subsidiary of Ducab Group, has won an order from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) to supply the high-voltage cable for Phase 5 of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park (MBR Solar Park).

A press release said the order is for approximately 275 km of cable as well as “relevant accessories and terminations.” The project will be executed over three plots, each designed to generate 300 megawatts. The MBR Solar Park was described as the world’s largest single-site solar park, based on the independent power producer model. When completed, it is designed to be one of the most cost-effective solar parks anywhere.

Ducab HV will also be responsible for cable installation as the cable subcontractor appointed by Shanghai Electric of China. The latest project award follows Ducab HV having successfully energized the full turnkey 132kV system for Phase 3 of the MBR Solar Park.

DEWA is seeking to position Dubai as a global hub for clean energy and green economy through several initiatives. Its Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 initiative aims to provide 75% of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy by 2050. That goal has seen greater development of more diverse energy grids using customized cabling for projects that seek to harness the power of solar, wind, and nuclear energy. The MBR Solar Park has a planned production capacity of 5,000 MW by 2030, with investments totaling approximately US$13.6 billion. When completed, it will save over 6.5 million metric tons of carbon emissions annually.

“Ducab has a strong record of contributing towards some of the most prestigious projects in the UAE and the wider GCC region, and the MBR Solar Park is no exception,” said Ducab HV CEO Mike Engelbrecht said of the new award, which he observed was won amid fierce competition from world-class competitors. “The project will see quality, ‘Made in UAE’ cables continue to be incorporated into the landmark site, powering the development of the country for many years to come and a testament to the UAE government’s strategy to develop in country competence.”

NKT has won a long-term frame agreement with Swedish utility Ellevio to reinforce the power grid in Central Sweden, a four-year deal that calls for it to supply low- and medium-voltage power cables.

A press release said that NKT will continue its long-term collaboration with Ellevio to reinforce and expand the regional power grid in Central Sweden. The deal includes cable with voltage levels from 1 kV to 36 kV for use in projects such as replacing overhead lines with underground power cables and reinforcing the power grid in urban areas around Stockholm, the capital of Sweden.

“With the new frame agreement, we continue our engagement in ensuring the grid has the capacity needed to be ready for the increased electrification driven by urbanization and the transition to renewable energy,” said Peter Marcusson, Nordic director of sales for utilities at NKT. The agreement, he said, runs until 2024, with an option to extend it for three more years.

The deal with Ellevio also includes collaboration on the development of new products and methods to future proof the power grid in the region, Marcusson said. He noted that part of the infrastructure is aging and needs to be reinforced and expanded to meet the growing demand for electricity.

A central part of the ongoing reinforcement is to weather proof the power grid by exchanging overhead lines with underground cables to minimize the risk of weather-related blackouts. In Stockholm, urbanization drives investments in the power grids as new city areas arise with roads and tunnels being built. The capacity of the power grid in the larger cities of the region also needs to take a growing number of electrical cars into account which is driving the need for timely expansion of the power grid.
Ellevio is one of the largest utilities in Sweden supplying electricity to more than 960,000 customers in Central Sweden including the Stockholm area.


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