Prysmian Cables & Systems marks the launch of the first extra high voltage, vertical continuous vulcanization (VCV) power cable factory in North America. The 16-story, $46 million (32 million Euro) plant in Abbeville, S.C., reduces the need for North American imports of extruded extra high voltage technology, paper oil impregnated cable types and overhead power lines – critical goals of both U.S. and Canadian energy policy.
“The Prysmian investment will address the expected overhaul of the nation’s grid after 30 years of underinvestment in the electrical grid reliability and efficiency, and meets the challenges represented by the advance of renewable energy and the emergence of smart grid enabling technologies,” said Martin Hanchard, President and CEO of Prysmian’s North American operations.
“This breakthrough incorporates over 130 years of leading-edge technology and manufacturing know-how developed and deployed globally by Prysmian. Now, that very same technology and know how is available in North America,” he said.
The 373-ft. tower incorporating the VCV process extends the existing Prysmian medium and low voltage cable manufacturing facility in Abbeville by 140,000 sq. ft. The investment also includes a state of the art 460kv extra high voltage testing capability.
In North America, Prysmian operates four production plants: two in the U.S. (Abbeville and Lexington, S.C.) and two in Canada (St. Jean, Quebec, and Prescott, Ontario). Prysmian’s High Voltage Systems design and Installation business activities are located in South Plainfield, N.J. Prysmian collectively employs more than 500 South Carolina residents and over 800 associates in North America. In 2008, North America represented 11.8 percent of the total Prysmian group’s sales, amounting to over $896 million (603 million euro).
Prysmian’s North American high voltage customers include major public utilities, utility contractors and private development groups.
As a global player, Prysmian operates 14 plants dedicated to high and extra high voltage power cables in the US, Canada, France, Finland, Brazil, Argentina, Italy, Spain, Turkey, UK, Indonesia, Malaysia and China.