Electricity production & transmission
Through its new strategy, Nexans is becoming a unique and fully integrated player covering the entire electrification value chain. In the area of electricity production, the Group intends to reinforce its positioning in the offshore wind farm and interconnection markets.
Nexans’ core business encompasses both interconnections and cabling solutions for offshore wind farms. And our business begins with the production and transmission of electricity. Our customers are offshore wind farm developers, national transport network operators and, increasingly, investors in infrastructure.
Longer distances, deeper waters and larger projects are requiring ever-higher voltages and ever-increasing quantities of energy. All of these factors are causing energy markets to become more and more technical, which means that market players also need solid risk management skills. Going forward, investments will be needed to meet market demand, both in terms of volumes and technologies.
Renewable energy sources – such as offshore wind farms – are key to the transition to sustainable energy. This market will see extraordinary growth in the coming decade, with an estimated annual growth rate of 11.5% and some 200 gigawatts of capacity scheduled to be installed worldwide. The high-voltage interconnection market (subsea and land) is set to grow by 14.13% per year. As renewable energy sources are not always located close to where the electricity is used, Nexans connects them to each electricity grid by installing energy highways. While Europe will remain the main market, Asia and the United States are expected to follow closely behind. Offshore wind farms and interconnections represent approximately 11.5% annual growth for Nexans’ cable and installations market, i.e. 8 billion euros per year by 2030.
Armed with unparalleled expertise in subsea cable systems, Nexans is already very well positioned and engaged in the fast-growing offshore wind farm market.
The Group’s major contracts in this market include the Seagreen 1 project – an offshore wind farm located off the coast of Scotland with a production capacity of up to 1.5 GW. This joint venture between SSE Renewables and Total will be Scotland’s largest source of renewable energy and will make a significant contribution to the country’s objective of becoming carbon neutral. It will be the largest wind farm in Scotland, ultimately providing clean energy to over 600,000 Scottish homes.
Another major contract in this market is the exclusive agreement signed with the world leader in offshore wind power – the Danish company Ørsted – and New England’s premier transmission builder – Eversource. Under this agreement, Nexans will provide up to 1,000 km of subsea high-voltage export cables until 2027 to connect up to the network of Ørsted’s future wind farms located off the North-East coast of the United States.
Nexans has also been awarded a purchase order to supply 180 km of cables for the Marjan increment development mega-project in Saudi Arabia as part of a program to expand the Marjan field, which is one of the oldest and biggest offshore oil and gas fields in the Arabian Gulf. Nexans is one of the very few suppliers in the world capable of manufacturing, testing, storing, transporting and installing extremely long lengths of cable in one complete segment without the need for offshore joints. In the interconnections market, the Group is also involved in the EuroAsia Interconnector Limited project, designed to link the national grids of Greece, Cyprus and Israel. Lastly, in 2020 Nexans completed the repair of a 95 km subsea high voltage (HV) cable linking Malta with Sicily. The interconnector cable was damaged by a ship anchor, causing a nationwide blackout in Malta and a series of power cuts in the following weeks.
In the area of risk management, Nexans has signed a partnership agreement with Bureau Veritas (BV), a world leader in testing, inspection, and certification. The aim of the agreement is to reduce risk and promote best practices for turnkey deliveries of high voltage power cables used for connecting offshore wind farms to onshore grids. As offshore wind farms are increasingly being installed further away from coasts and in deeper waters, the risk of failures could increase due to a more complex marine environment. This partnership builds on Bureau Veritas’s maritime expertise and extensive experience in risk management to help the offshore wind sector reduce operational risk.
Invested by Nexans in energy transition
already invested between 2018 and 2021
more will be injected by Nexans into the Charleston (USA) and Halden (Norway) plants
The cable market for offshore wind farms is worth 2.5 billion euros and is expected to grow 11.5% a year to 8 billion euros by 2030, driven by the faster pace of transition to carbon-free energy made possible by offshore wind farms. Although the development of offshore wind farms is still in its early stages, they already represent a significant market for cables.
The cable market for electrical interconnections is worth 1.2 billion euros and is expected to increase by 14.3% a year, reaching 5 billion euros by 2030, driven by a rising need for renewable energy and a large pipeline of major projects.
THE NEXANS AURORA – NAVIGATING TOWARDS ENERGY TRANSITION
The Group – which already owns the Nexans Skagerrak – took delivery of its second cable-laying ship,
the Nexans Aurora in May 2021. This revolutionary vessel has a large capacity cable handling spread
including a 10,000-tonne split turntable, as well as a basket for fiber optic cables with a capacity of 450 tonnes, and high-tech equipment enabling cables to be laid at depths of 3,000 meters. Its construction marks a major step in Nexans’ long-term strategy, enabling it to maintain and reinforce its position as a leading player in subsea cables. The Nexans Aurora will play a vital role going forward by facilitating the connection of offshore wind farms to onshore grids, the electrification of offshore oil and gas installations, and the creation of interconnections between countries. It will begin its career in Scotland, in the third quarter of 2021, at the Seagreen 1 wind farm where it will lay three 65 km offshore cables.
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