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Growth in the Subsea Cable industry

The demand for subsea cable installation for offshore wind continues to rise, with 2,800+ days contracted in 2022 alone. Traditional shipowners dominate the market, but OEMs are making a comeback. The industry presents significant opportunities for those willing to invest in their capabilities.

The offshore wind industry has seen rapid growth in recent years, driven by the need for clean energy and the shift towards a low-carbon economy. With this growth has come an increased demand for subsea cable installation for offshore wind farms. In 2022 alone, more than 2,800 days were contracted for subsea cable installation, representing a significant recovery since 2020 and the strongest year since 2018.

Cable Installation demand has more than doubled since 2020

Both the export and array cable markets are rising at a compounded rate of approximately 10% year-on-year, reflecting the increasing demand for subsea cable installation. Both the segments saw the highest installation demand in 2022, and is expected to continue growing. 

While traditional shipowners have dominated the market, the Integrated OEM trio of Prysmian, NKT, and Nexans has also played a significant role, particularly in the export cable segment. As these players separately also participate in other subsea cable segments such as interconnectors and O&G markets, their market share in export installation contracts was relatively low in recent years. Having said that, in 2022 it bounced back 50%. Seeing that their core capabilities, however, are in the cable fabrication rather than installation, it is likely that these companies will continue to invest in increasing their fabrication capacities rather than installation fleets.

In the last three years, traditional shipowners such as Subsea 7, Jan de Nul, and Boskalis have dominated the subsea cable installation market, serving almost 80% of installation demand. These companies have significant experience in subsea cable installation and have been able to capitalize on the growing demand for their services.

As the Offshore Wind industry gears up for a 200 GW capacity build-out by 2030 (more than five times that of today), understanding the cable industry and its challenges will be crucial. Spinergie's Cable Analytics feature leverages data from more than 17,000 km of subsea cable laying campaigns, including Array, Export and Interconnectors, to help you get a comprehensive outlook on the market.

Published on
April 26, 2023
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Drashya Goel
Marketing Content Manager

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