Prysmian SpA, a Milan, Italy-based supplier of cables to the energy and telecommunications markets, claims its new 32 million-euro ($47.5 million) plant will be the first to produce extra-high-voltage power cables in North America.
The facility in Abbeville, S.C., consists of a vertical continuous vulcanization operation housed in a 373-foot tower.
Prysmian hopes to gain a competitive advantage in the North American market for high-voltage cables, in part because of the U.S. government's emphasis on modernizing power transmission networks.
The Abbeville site is Prysmian's fourth in North America: It also has medium- and low-voltage cable plants in Lexington, S.C.; St. Jean, Quebec; and Prescott, Ontario.
In 2008, North America represented 11.8 percent of the firm's sales.
The company has also invested in the high-tech cable sectors in Asia and Europe.
These [sectors] include China, where the construction of 24,000 kilometers [14,913 miles] of new power transmission lines has been announced, and Europe, where strong impetus is coming both from the need to develop network interconnectors, and from the development of renewable energy from wind farms that require connecting to the traditional transmission networks, the company said in a news release.
Prysmian formed in 2005 when tire company Pirelli SpA sold its cable and telecommunications businesses to Goldmann Sachs Group. Prysmian became a publicly listed company in 2007 and now has 14 manufacturing sites.
Outside North America, plants are located in Brazil, Argentina, France, Finland, Italy, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, Malaysia and China.
Copyright 2009 Crain Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved.