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Year in the Life - JDR Cables


October Instalment of JDR Cables' #Chamberyearinthelife

Cutting-edge engineering to supply essential cable connections to the world’s largest windfarms, is being designed and delivered by an innovative company, on the edge of the North Sea at Hartlepool.

JDR Cables, part of TFKable Group, is based on a vast site, part of PD Ports land and exports its expertise, products and services for renewable energy and oil and gas projects internationally as well as supplying UK ventures.

Such is its success around 100 jobs have been created in just 12 months, an increase of its workforce by 25%, due to ever-increasing demand.

Marc Bell said: “It is a great source of pride to me that much of the manufacturing, research and development work for JDR Cables is done in Hartlepool, the company’s largest manufacturing base. JDR also runs a manufacturing operation in Littleport, Cambridge and a service centre in Newcastle, UK and Houston, US.

The Hartlepool facility was established 10 years ago and produces up to 600km of Renewable cables every year,the equivalent distance of Newcastle to Devon.

Marc Bell highlights: “We’re currently looking at a forward order book of a year and half for Renewable cables.The global wind business and JDR in particular is an exciting place to be at the moment. Wind Turbines are getting bigger, Windfarms are being built further from shore,and this requires an even greater length of cable.Recent developments such as Floating Wind Turbines allow JDR to combine our O&G expertise with Renewable cable technology to meet customer challenges. There is definitely an opportunity for our agile and innovative approach, as our customers are pushing our capabilities to supply these evermore challenging products and services.This is not only a test for our cables but all of the supply chain associated with transporting these huge products.”

The customer list for the business is a veritable who’s who of major global companies in the wind power, oil and gas industries. JDR’s impressive track record includes supply to the world’s biggest offshore wind farm.

While earlier this summer in June it won a contract for Belgium’s largest offshore wind farm – the SeaMade project.It has also made great progress into the Taiwanese market as well and has recently manufactured and supplied cables for the country’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm – Formosa 1.

With such a burgeoning order-book the well-publicised shortage of skilled engineers in the region can be a challenge, Marc Bell admits: “We need more engineers across a number of disciplines. As a result we work with local partners such as Hartlepool College to help young people understand about STEM careers. We also take on numerous graduates each year and have an apprenticeship programme which helps to tackle our future employee requirements. Luckily we also have a very stable workforce here and great team spirit, which is a huge help when delivering the scale of work we produce, all around the world.

Marc Bell, director of operations at JDR, has an impressive track record in the Oil & Gas and Wind Energy sector. A mechanical engineer by profession, he has worked in global operations management for a number of years including time in China. Before joining JDR Cables he also held senior roles at Technip and Siemens Wind Power within the region.