French multinational cable manufacturer, Nexans, believes there will be greater demand for its newest overhead line technology over the coming years and decades, particularly in Europe.
The company spent five years testing and developing its Lo-sagTM technology, which serves to carry around twice the power of conventional steel reinforced conductors with almost no sag on overhead lines. Crucially it is the first such technology to comply with ageing (durability) standards on both sides of the Atlantic.
Cyprien Federspiel, Vice-President Business Development at Nexans told Power Engineering International that while South American clients have been first out of the blocks in ordering Lo-sag, the company also anticipates demand on the European market
Nexans pioneered Lo-sagTM during a recent line replacement project near Rio de Janeiro.
“Latin America has provided us with great opportunity In the short term, we will also focus on Europe because most of the lines are 60 to 80 years old, placed just after the Second World War, and they need to replace them.”
Federspiel says that using Lo-sag TM, the most sophisticated one of three high end overhead line products in their stable, can prove an especially useful option for European clients.
“Very often they don’t have the drawings and don’t know the capability of the mechanical strength of their tower. It means they need to increase the ampacity but with conductors of the same size or smaller in order not to be a threat to the mechanical properties of the towers.”
“A lot of utilities have mentioned in their strategy plans they are moving towards this type of technology, not just this year but over the next 20 or 30 years.”
So far Nexans approached RTE in France, who they will commence two Lo-sagTM projects this year validating the Nexans strategy to enhance its High End solutions.
The National Grid in the UK is interested in the company’s 400 kV extra high voltage overhead lines and this is a project Nexans are especially keen to get off the ground in 2013.
In South America, Brazil is in preparation for the World Cup and Olympic Games and the company may well be called upon again as the country is under pressure to upgrade many lines in time for hosting of the events.
Elsewhere in most countries having vast distances for transmission lines, Nexans feels the technology is in its armoury to adapt to the challenges presented there.
Back to Europe and Federspiel says the company is readying itself for an increase in business over the next few years.
“We are getting ready to face a ramp up in production. We estimate that by 2016 there will be an accessible market of 10,000 km per year so we have to set correct targets for production with our partners.
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