Coinciding with its 110th anniversary, the German cablemaking company Norddeutsche Seekabelwerke GmbH (NSW), a General Cable subsidiary, has just inaugurated a new submarine cable production plant in the town of Nordenham. The inaugural event was presided over by Christian Wulff, prime minister of the lander Lower Saxony, who was accompanied by Jack Welsh, President of the Supervisory Board of General Cable Corporation, Greg Kenny, President of the Board of Directors of General Cable Corporation, and Domingo Goenaga, Chairman of General Cable Europe and North Africa.
"This is where we are going to manufacture the submarine energy cables of the greatest length, diameter and weight," explained Valentin Jug, Chairman of NSW, adding that the company is progressing toward new business opportunities, since it also has capacity to manufacture high voltage cables, intended to link the marine wind farms with the receiving substations on land. General Cable's German subsidiary can also manufacture submarine cables for the extraction operations of the oil and gas industries. "And we are likewise expanding our business to the sphere of island links, as we are currently installing the first submarine electric link to the island of Helgoland for the company E.ON Hanse AG ", Jug indicated.
7,000 square metres
The new cable manufacturing plant is situated next to the mouth of the River Weser and represented an investment of over 40 million euros by General Cable, which acquired NSW in 2007. The recently inaugurated factory has a surface area of 7,000 square metres, with a length of 150 metres and a height of 15. "The machines installed are among the biggest in the world in their speciality," according to Rudolf Stahl, General Manager responsible for sales, marketing and project implementation of NSW. A large space has been fitted out next to the plant for the storage of cables, with a capacity for several thousand tons. "With the new jobs created, the total employees already amount to 550 in this plant, which is the only submarine cables plant in Germany," stressed Rudolf Stahl.
NSW has already obtained orders from the first two German marine wind farms, situated in the North Sea. Within the Alpha Ventus pilot project, which is being developed 45 kilometres from the coast of Borkum, 12 wind farms with a capacity of 5 megawatts each are being built, in which NSW will supply and install the cables. It will also manufacture them for the BARD 1 wind farm. Moreover, this summer a further 80 wind turbines are going to be installed to the north-west of the island of Borkum, and NSW has also obtained the first cable order in the Baltic Sea, specifically for the company E.ON Sverige AB, which will allocate them to the Rodsand II marine wind farm, which will generate a power of 200 MW and will supply electricity to some 200,000 homes.
To undertake these big projects with guarantees, NSW has reached collaboration agreements with its partner Hans Schramm & Sohn GmbH & Co. KG and with the engineering company Tiefbau-GmbH "Unterweser" (TAGU), a company from the Ludwig Freytag Group, which built NSW's boat (called Nostag 10), to help with the laying of the cables, and which was recently launched.