Paris-headquartered global cable company Nexans has officially opened the US’s first high-voltage subsea cable plant. The Charleston, South Carolina factory will supply the fledgling yet soon-to-boom US offshore wind market. The plant is the only facility of its kind in North America.
The 475,000-square-foot plant (pictured) was built in 2014 to serve the US high-voltage transmission market, and it has been adapted by Nexans to manufacture its subsea cables.
Nexans expects to create 210 new jobs at its Charleston factory by the end of 2021.
The plant will feature a terminal to load the cables onto Nexans’ ships that will then be transported to US and international offshore wind projects.
Nexans’ specially designed cable-laying ships are able to install in all water depths. The vessels will install subsea cables manufactured in both Charleston and Halden, Norway.
Nexans will deliver subsea cables up to 525kV HVDC and 400kV HVAC, covering the full range of needed products for export cables for offshore wind and subsea interconnectors. The first subsea high voltage export cable made in Charleston will be delivered to an offshore wind farm in the UK at the beginning of 2022.
Nexans has signed a framework agreement with New England energy company Eversource and Danish wind giant Ørsted to supply the first US-made subsea high voltage export cables, and a preferred supplier agreement with Equinor for New York’s Empire Wind 1 and 2.
Nexans estimates that it will be able to deliver up to 621 miles (1,000 km) of cable for Ørsted’s and Eversource’s offshore wind farms in North America up to 2027.
Bjorn Ladegard, vice president installation and services of Nexans, told Electrek:
Nexans has continued to invest and bring our global expertise to transform our facility in Charleston into a world-class, high-voltage subsea cable manufacturing site. Now, we are able to provide this key offshore wind component to US and international energy projects that are made in America.
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