New hub to manufacture subsea, land cables for offshore wind farms

Nov. 22, 2023
Construction of a UK-based facility has enhanced JDR's ability to produce high-voltage subsea cables.

Offshore staff

LITTLEPORT, Cambridgeshire — JDR Cable Systems, part of the TFK Group, has achieved several milestones in the construction of its new £130 million ($162.9 million) subsea cable manufacturing facility in Cambois, near Blyth, Northumberland.

The facility will expand the product offerings of both JDR and TFKable, including high-voltage and extended-length land and inter-array cables. The UK-based TFKable Group facility is capable of comprehensive manufacturing of subsea and land cables used to connect offshore wind farms to the energy grid.

The company said advancements have been made in the facility foundation work, including the successful placement of more than 150 building pad foundations and the erection of a substantial portion of the steel frame for the main hall, enhancing the facility's structural integrity. Roofing and cladding works also began as construction continues at pace.

Notably, all piling for the foundations of the vertical lay-up machine and continuous catenary vulcanisation towers (CCV) have been completed. The towers are supported by 250 piles drilled to a depth of 24 m below ground level to reach bedrock and provide the essential support for the advanced machinery housed within them.

Once operational, the CCV line will establish the site as the only facility in the UK capable of full start-to-finish manufacturing of high-voltage subsea cables. These cables are required for offshore wind farms and to enable the subsea energy infrastructure.

JDR says a crucial application of the facility will be the production of high and extra-high voltage cables at 132 kV and above. These will enable the operation of larger turbines offshore, allowing the connection of more power back to shore. With the facility foundation work nearing completion and more than 1,700 tonnes of concrete foundations having been poured, the project is on course to meet the significant increase in demand expected for high-voltage cables in the middle of the decade.

Machinery deliveries for the facility are also progressing, with complex, European-manufactured machines already completed and ready for installation, which will take place once the building is sealed, and a floor slab completed in coming months.

Construction work has reused existing foundations from the former Blyth A&B coal power station on site, reducing the emissions related to this stage of construction for the JDR project.