Nexans’ RHEYFIRM (RS) innovative hybrid medium voltage ship-to-shore cables for cleaner ports

Ship-to-shore cables enable ships berthed in port to cut their engines and plug into the local power grid to eliminate local air and noise emissions

Paris, September 12, 2007 – Nexans, the worldwide leader in the cable industry, has developed an innovative hybrid MV (medium voltage) ship-to-shore connection cable that enables ships berthed in port to cut their engines and plug in to the local power grid, as well as providing an integrated data and telecommunications link. Environmental issues are now a key priority for the shipping industry and port authorities, and this cable will help large ships to make use of AMP (alternative maritime power) systems that effectively eliminate the production of greenhouse gases while in port, as well as reducing noise emissions and saving on fuel costs.

ship illuThe Nexans hybrid ship-to-shore connection cable, branded RHEYFIRM (RS), is aimed mainly at the new generation of large container vessels, LNG tankers, ferries and cruise ships, which require vast quantities of electric power (typically 1 to 5 MW and currents of over 300A) to support heating, air conditioning, lighting and computer control systems.

Ships – the biggest source of air pollution

There is increasing political pressure on shipping operators and port authorities worldwide to improve air quality in ports, especially as they are often located in densely populated cities. In fact, according to the 2005 report issued by the European Union “Ships are fast becoming the biggest source of air pollution in the EU. Unless more action is taken they are set to emit more than all land sources combined by 2020” (source: Clean Air for Europe impact assessment p31).

In May 2006, the European Commission adopted the “Recommendation on the promotion of shore-side electricity for use by ships at berth in EU ports”. Furthermore, anticipated legislation in the United States could make the use of shore-side electricity mandatory.

Three-way development

The Nexans RHEYFIRM (RS) ship-to-shore cable integrates MV (6/10kV) power supply, control cores and optical fibres for data transmission such as telephone and internet in a single, rugged, cable designed to be easy to reel either from onboard or from portside. It has been developed in conjunction with SAM Electronics in Hamburg, Germany, one of Nexans’ leading shipboard cable customers, while Cavotec has designed the matching reels, plugs and connectors to create a complete connection system.

RHEYFIRM (RS) cable is around 80 mm in diameter and comprises three 185 mm2 phase conductors and two earthing conductors that provide an effective cross-section of 95 mm2 – as well as five control cores and 12 optical fibres.

Around 2,000 metres of the cable have already been delivered for 10 container ships, and Nexans, SAM Electronics and Cavotec are now promoting the system globally to meet the needs of busy ports and superports. Nexans Germany participated in a working group to create the first draft of a standard for this new type of cable, this is now being discussed on an international basis and the CDV (committee draft for voting) is expected at the end of 2007.

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About Nexans

With energy as the basis of its development, Nexans, the worldwide leader in the cable industry, offers an extensive range of cables and cabling systems. The Group is a global player in the infrastructure, industry and building markets. Nexans addresses a series of market segments from energy, transport and telecom networks to shipbuilding, oil and gas, nuclear, automotive, electronics, aeronautics, handling and automation. With an industrial presence in more than 30 countries and commercial activities worldwide, Nexans employs 21,000 people and had sales in 2006 of 7.5 billion euros. Nexans is listed on the Paris stock exchange, compartment A of the Eurolist of Euronext. More information on