Prysmian’s flagship energy transition cable plant to become group’s first net-zero factory

Source: press release, 25 January 2021

Pikkala – Finland – is a centre of excellence for high-tech power transmission and distribution cable
Pikkala – Finland – is a centre of excellence for high-tech power transmission and distribution cable (photo: Prysmian Group)

Prysmian Group, global energy and telecom cable systems industry provider, is taking a step forward on its path to improve the sustainability of its operations, by making its Finland submarine, high- and medium-voltage cable plant, the company’s excellence centre also for green energy consumption. The Pikkala plant is strategic for the Prysmian Group because it is a centre of excellence for production of cables employed for land and submarine interconnections, for both onshore and offshore wind farms all over the world.

At Pikkala, 100% of the energy used will be from certified renewable sources. The plant’s new on-site biomass heating system will cut its annual CO2 emissions using recycled wood from sources such as Prysmian’s own cable transport drums after they become unsuitable for industrial use, one of the steps Prysmian Group is taking on its “race to net-zero”. To further reduce CO2 emissions, Pikkala’s corporate auto fleet is now completely made up of hybrid or electric vehicles, reflecting the Group’s overall targets. Pikkala is responsible for the production of high-, medium- and low-voltage land and submarine cables for the energy transition. It is one of Prysmian Group’s three submarine cables plants in Europe, along with Arco Felice (Naples) and Drammen (Norway).

“We are accelerating our commitment to de-carbonisation,” says Andrea Pirondini, Chief Operating Officer. “We aim to set science-based carbon reduction targets and will calculate supply-chain emissions (Scope 3) along with those produced directly by the Group. In the meantime, we want to implement new circular energy systems in our plants like the one at Pikkala.”

Cables produced at Pikkala support the growing renewable energy industry in Europe and the United States by offering state-of-the-art technology. Pikkala has supplied cables for many European offshore wind farm projects including Helwin 1 and Helwin 2, Borwin 3, and Dolwin 3 and Dolwin 5, as well as many submarine interconnections like COBRA and IFA2. The plant will supply US offshore wind developer Vineyard Wind with a submarine power cable system for a wind farm off the shore of Massachusetts. Prysmian Group is also leading the renewable energy market in Finland and is supplying cables for many onshore wind projects in the country.

Using renewable energy at Pikkala will help Prysmian Group meet several goals on its Sustainability Scorecard for 2022: to cut CO2 emissions by 2-3%; to recycle as much as two thirds of its own waste; and to reuse 27% of its own drums. Starting from 2020 for the next 3 years, Prysmian will invest around EUR 450 million to further improve the sustainability of its organisation and supply chain, and to accelerate the development of advanced cable technologies as well as assets and services. Energy consumption reduction, circularity and waste recyclability are key in Prysmian’s efforts.

Surveying and preparations for the on-site biomass heating system at the 500-person plant will start in January 2021, with construction due to begin in February.