Nexans backs innovative subsea connector

FRANCE: Nexans has taken a minority stake in Powersea, a French start-up developing an innovative design for high-voltage subsea connectors.

The concept uses a standard, terrestrial connector, sealed inside an oil-filled chamber by a remotely-operated underwater tool, without the use of an additional vehicle or diver. The installation can be carried out from a medium-size vessel and the tool can be reused, according to Powersea president Peter Weiss.

This means the new connector will be simpler, cheaper and more robust than conventional connectors, which are "expensive and, due to their sophisticated mechanisms, have high failure rates", Powersea said.

Along with its partners Comex and Subseatech, Powersea is developing a 36kV connector, which it hopes to bring to market mid-2016, along with a more efficient version of the installation device.

Nexans' investment will help the industrialisation of the connector and also allow the consortium to offer turnkey solutions, including marine operations and cabling.

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