The Mont Blanc Tunnel: Nexans supplies the safety cables
Nexans has supplied 90 km of aluminum cables for the medium-voltage supply and 300 km of copper cable for the low-voltage supply. The contract for the supply of the power cables for the entire tunnel was awarded by Gemmo Impianti de Vincenza and Cegelec Lyons. Gemmo is prime contractor for cable installation in the Italian section of the tunnel, while Cegelec is prime contractor for the French section.
For the Telecoms part, the Group has delivered 100 km of multimode optical fiber cables with 72, 36 and 6 fibers dedicated to telephony and 50 km of multimode 50/125 cables with 2, 12 and 24 fibers for data and video surveillance transmission. The cables have been installed by Gemmo-Cegelec.
The cables, like the special Nexans accessories, meet the most stringent international safety standards.
"We are particularly happy to be contributing towards the reconstruction of the Mont-Blanc Tunnel, stated Bruno Thomas, Nexans' Strategic Operations Director. Safety is one of Nexans' leading priorities, and our researchers work constantly on improving cable performance. Fires are in effect often aggravated by the propagation of flames and toxic fumes along the cables. Moreover, if the cables are not fire-resistant, the power is cut and the alarm systems no longer function."
Nexans has been developing research programs to HFFR (Halogen-Free Fire-Resistant) cables since 1988. This has resulted in high-performance cables based on new materials that do not propagate the flames and do not give off thick or toxic fumes.
These new materials are tested in the Nexans research laboratories where they undergo intensive testing to verify their resistance to fire and heat under extreme conditions. Some of Nexans security-system cables are, for example, capable of functioning for 3 hours at a temperature of 1000°C.