Furukawa Electric Acquires SuperPower Inc.

October 16, 2011 by Jeff Shepard

Furukawa Electric entered into a binding agreement, , with the Phillips Group to acquire SuperPower Inc., a manufacturer and provider of Second Generation High Temperature Superconducting ("2G HTS") wire. The closing of the transaction remains subject to various regulatory and governmental approvals as well as other closing conditions.

Through this acquisition, Furukawa Electric welcomes to its group one of the only two companies in the world with the capability for commercial production of 2G HTS wire today. Furukawa Electric plans to expand both its and SuperPower’s business aggressively in the markets of the globally-expanding smart grid sector, alternative energy sector and industrial sector by providing superconducting wire as well as developing applied superconductor devices.

SuperPower is a manufacturer and provider of 2G HTS wire with more than 130 customers in the U.S., Europe and other parts of the world. Currently, SuperPower and another American company are the only two companies in the world that have the capability to mass produce and provide 2G HTS wire for their customers.

Since the start of sales of niobium titanium wire and other metallic superconducting wires in the 1960s, Furukawa Electric has been providing metal superconducting wire for the medical sector (e.g., MRI), the industrial sector (e.g., single crystal pull-up apparatus), scientific research (e.g., accelerator) and the energy sector (e.g., nuclear fusion). Furukawa Electric has also been working on research and development of HTS devices, such as superconductor electric cable and fault current limiter, which are critical devices for smart grid and renewable energy equipment.

With this transaction, Furukawa Electric, with technological advantage in the commercialization of superconductor electric cable and other applied devices, and SuperPower, with technological advantage in superconducting wire production, will come together to form a group with the capability to mass produce a range of 2G HTS products from wire to devices. Through provision of superconductor electric cable and wire for large wind turbine generators as well as expansion of the device business, Furukawa Electric aims to generate sales of US$ 100 million by 2016. In the field of superconducting wire, Furukawa Electric and SuperPower will be the only manufacturer in the world which can provide both HTS and metal superconducting wire on a broad commercial basis at this time.

Furukawa Electric will respond to the wide range of needs of its customers and contribute to the advancement of the electric power infrastructure to expand its business globally with product offerings for smart grid and electric-power-related infrastructure sectors.

More news and information regarding the latest developments in Smart Grid electronics can be found at Darnell’s SmartGridElectronics.Net.