Subsea cable manufacturing facility at former Blyth Power Station site making construction progress
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The bulk of the 69,000sq metre factory’s foundations work is complete and the steel frame for the facility’s main hall is nearly done. Roofing and cladding works have also begun ahead of a planned opening in 2024.
JDR Cable Systems will own and operate the factory once it is complete, and it will include a catenary continuous vulcanisation line for insulating and protecting the cables, making it the UK’s only facility capable of making these cables from start to finish.
The high-voltage underwater cables it will produce are required for connecting offshore wind farms to energy infrastructure. The facility will also have the capability to manufacture land cables.
James Young, chief strategy and compliance officer at JDR, said: "We are proud to contribute to the growth of the renewable energy sector and the UK's position in offshore wind manufacturing.
“Constructing this first-in-class facility in the UK enhances our ability to produce high-quality, high-voltage subsea cables that we know will be essential in meeting the demands of, not only the offshore renewable energy market, but also the wider needs of the energy sector.”
Over 1700 tonnes of concrete foundations have now been poured in the project. Supports for the factory’s towers have been drilled to a depth of 24m to reach bedrock.
Some of the former foundations of Blyth Power Station, which once sat on the site now occupied by JDR, have been reused in the construction of the new factory, which the company says has helped reduce construction emissions.
The European-built machinery that the facility will house has been manufactured and is in the process of being delivered. It will be installed once the building is weather tight and the floor is complete, expected to be in the next few months.
James added: “As a proud UK-based company it is vital that we contribute to the local economy of the North East and the UK more widely, supporting local workforces and strengthening our supply chains as we bring our facility online to help to lead the energy transition here in the UK and beyond.”
JDR is owned by TFK Group, a wire and cable production company based in Poland.