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All of the country of Mauritania was left without internet access for two days, and nine other African nations were affected when the African Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable was severed on March 30.

Per media reports, the cable broke near the Mauritanian capital of Noukachott. A trawler is believed to have severed the line. Mauritania, which has a population of 4.5 million people, relies entirely on ACE for internet access. The ACE system, 10,500 miles long, stretches from France to South Africa, providing an internet connection to 22 countries, most of Africa’s west coast. A large part of the west of the continent was affected by outages.

A spokesman for  Orange, which heads the consortium that manages ACE, tweeted a picture of the severed cable taken by workers on a maintenance vessel sent to repair it. Jean-Luc Vuillemin said a trawler raising the cable
off the seabed and slicing through it was the “likely cause.”

Consus Muju Pinestone PF Real Estate, a subsidiary of South Korea’s major wire supplier, Taihan Electric Wire Co., has sold Pinestone Country Club for 78 billion won ($73.4 million).

Per media accounts, Taihan Electric Wire reported that its real estate investment fund agreed to sell the 680,000-sq-m site in Dangjin, South Chungcheong Province Tongyang Leisure and Line Industry. The site includes a golf course and adjacent buildings.

Built in 2006, Pinestone Resort is wholly owned by Consus Muju Pinestone PF Real Estate, in which Taihan Electric Wire has a 71% stake. Taihan said it plans to shed more of its noncore assets so it can focus on its mainstay electric wire business to boost profitability.

Primetals Technologies reports that South Korean Hyundai Steel has issued final acceptance certificates for two long-rolling mills—a large bar mill and a small bar and wire rod mill—it supplied for its plant in Dangjin.

A press release said that the large bar mill is designed for annual capacity of about one million metric tons. It includes a duo-reversing breakdown stand and a finishing train with rolling/sizing stands. It will also provide billets to be further processed in the other new smaller mill.

Per the release, the small bar and wire rod mill has annual capacity of 800,000 metric tons. Designed to roll 160 tons per hour, the small bar and wire rod line will have the highest production rate for a combination mill. It employs low-temperature rolling technology designed to improve the metallurgical structure and mechanical properties of end products and to enhance flexibility during the rolling operation. Special mechatronics packages and an integrated automation solution ensure the necessary high product quality throughout the plant.

Hyundai Steel is part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, which has six production facilities in South Korea and one in China. Its order with Primetals Technologies included a continuous bloom casting machine designed to produce 1.1 million metric tons of blooms per year. That operation received final acceptance in 2017.

Prysmian announced that it has won a contract from JG Summit Petrochemicals Group in the Philippines that calls for it to supply 820 km of cable for use in an expansion of the company’s operations.

A press release said that Prysmian will supply a mix of low- and medium-voltage power cable, instrumentation and control cable and telecom cable for plant and petrochemical applications. They will be used for the customer’s OSBL (Outside Battery Limits) Phase 1 Expansion Project, planned as the first expansion phase to the existing JG Summit facilities that will see construction begin this year. The cable will be produced at Prysmian plants in China, with delivery later this year.

JGSPG consists of JG Summit Petrochemical Corporation (JGSPC)—the largest manufacturer of polyolefins in the Philippines and the first and only integrated PE and PP resin manufacturer in the country—and JG Summit Olefins Corporation (JGSOC), which operates the only naphtha cracker plant in the Philippines. The JGSPG complex is 120 km south of Metro Manila in Batangas City, where its 250-hectare complex houses the naphtha cracker plant and the polymer plants.

The release noted that the Prysmian Group was the only cable maker in the region that could supply all the necessary cable. Irene C. Wilson, Oil & Gas Asia Pacific Business Director at Prysmian Group, said that JG Summit is a new client that has huge projected growth in the petrochemical and LNG front future."

Southwire announced that the company will reinvest approximately $9 million dollars back into the lives, and pockets, of its employees, joining a growing list of companies that have made similar moves as a result of recent tax reform.

A press release said that in addition to global, one-time employee bonuses, the company is expanding its parental leave policy and taking steps to strengthen its commitment to education, skilled trade development, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs and diversity in the workplace.

Full-time U.S. employees, with the exception of executives and upper management, will each receive a $1,000 bonus, while full-time employees outside the U.S. will get a bonus of $250 or the international equivalent. These investments will impact the majority of Southwire’s nearly 7,500 employees. 

“Building organizational capability is one of the key components of our company’s strategy, and it is vital that we make the right decisions as we continually enhance Southwire’s great culture,” said Southwire President and CEO Rich Stinson. “We’re off to a good start in 2018, and I am pleased to be able to share this benefit, both monetarily and through the extension of new and existing programs and partnerships, with the Southwire family.”

The release said that Southwire will also expand its parental leave policy to assist eligible parents. “At Southwire, our desire is for all employees to focus on ‘The Whole You,’ a concept which goes beyond standard benefits and provides access to resources that touch many aspects of an employee’s life,” said Kathleen Edge, EVP of Human Resources. “In doing so, we must offer programs and total rewards like these that reflect this commitment.”

Southwire will also offer a bridge scholarship program for eligible hourly employees seeking to further their education through a two-year degree, four-year degree or technical certification. There also are plans are in the works “to make strong investments into new and existing industry partnership” The purpose of these investments is to accelerate the attraction of diverse candidates into Southwire’s manufacturing and STEM careers. More information on these new programs will be available soon.

“As we continue to grow, we’re also looking at significant modernization and safety improvement efforts into our manufacturing and distribution facilities,” said Stinson. “Our goal is to be a generationally sustainable business for the next century and beyond, and to get there, we must make considerations and investments like these. It is an exciting time to be part of Southwire!”

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