Nexans reaffirms its presence in France and invests 40 million euros in its Autun plant in Saône-et-Loire

Jan 11, 2023
Nexans, Autun plant, local officials, investment, industry 4.0

Marc Makhlouf, Catherine Amiot, Jean Mouton, Guillaume Teixeira, Vincent Chauvet, Christopher Guérin, André Accary, Danièle Picard, Marie-Claude Barnay, Michel Neugnot, Frédéric Brochot

Nexans announced a 40 million euros investment in its Autun site, the epicentre of a more global strategy - in France - of innovation, sustainable development and social commitment

Present in Autun since 1979, Nexans announced today, in the presence of Jean Mouton, Chairman of Nexans Group, Christopher Guérin, CEO of Nexans and Guillaume Teixeira, Managing Director of Nexans France, the investment of 40 million euros over the next three years in its Autun site, in order to perpetuate the site's know-how, its industrial competitiveness and employment in France.

This announcement comes at a key moment in the Group's strategy, reaffirming its commitment to the electrification of the future in France, the cradle of the company for 120 years. Through this investment, Nexans will:

  • Accelerate the automation and digitisation of the Autun plant to make it a showcase for the Group's transformation towards Industry 4.0;
  • Reinforce its commitment to circular principles in the use of recycled materials, in particular in connection with its Lens site, the only copper casting facility in France;
  • Anticipate changes in fire safety standards for commercial buildings, expected in 2023, by making its Autun plant a European benchmark in fire safety technology. 

With demand for electricity expected to increase by 40% by 2040 and limited raw material reserves, Nexans is capitalising on its French territorial roots to build a strong and sustainable ecosystem around three key pillars: innovation, circularity and the use of new industrial technologies. These three pillars are illustrated today in Autun by this major investment of 40 million euros. The aim is to support the production capacity and competitiveness of the site, which is at the forefront of the industry's new fire safety challenges, and to contribute to its ambition of carbon neutrality.

In concrete terms, the Autun plant will:

  • Become a European reference in fire safety technology. This is a major challenge at a time when France, which is exemplary in terms of electrification, is considered to be lagging behind other European markets in terms of fire safety issues in buildings. Nexans is already anticipating the changes in fire safety standards planned for tertiary buildings (ERP) in 2023: from 2025, 30% of electrical installations in buildings will have to include cables that limit the emission of toxic fumes in the event of a fire. Nexans is capitalising on this expected change in standards to make the Autun site a European centre of expertise in PVC and halogen-free compounds;
  • Strengthen its ability to supply cables made from recycled materials, in particular by improving the circularity of copper, a primary resource that is becoming increasingly scarce. The vertical integration of Nexans' value chain in France, from its metallurgical site in Lens, is a decisive asset. It allows Nexans to secure supplies, guarantee the continuity of its activity, and support its customers in reducing their carbon footprint. Through this investment programme, the Autun site also aims to reduce the carbon footprint of its production process by more than 4.2% per year, in particular by modernising its equipment, deploying energy saving solutions and reducing the consumption of fossil fuels on the site.
  • To make its Autun site the test-site for an ambitious Industry 4.0 programme, which is intended to be extended to all Nexans sites worldwide from 2023. In addition to the benefits in terms of industrial productivity, Nexans is aiming for a massive improvement in the safety of its teams and industrial processes, in connection with the training of its employees in the field of automation. Industry 4.0 use cases will be developed there, for greater flexibility and agility: performance monitoring, energy consumption monitoring and real-time data to digitise production indicators and routines. 

The site, which employs 200 people in the region, is part of Nexans' network of 14 plants in France, which employs 2,300 people. Since 1979, the Group has invested between 2 and 3 million euros per year in this plant, which also became the first 100% automated logistics platform in France in 1996. A showcase for the Group's innovation, several building electrification solutions developed in Autun have since been replicated in other markets and have become essential in France. For example, these solutions facilitate the daily work of 30,000 electricians thanks to cables that are easy to unwind, locate and strip: Distingo NX’TAG, Passeo, Easyfil, Mobiway.

“ Nexans is a company with strong local roots in France. We believe in a modern, innovative and environmentally sustainable industry. Our vertical integration in the country safeguards supply for our customers and their ability to reduce their carbon footprint. This is why Nexans is investing and will continue to invest to maintain industrial jobs in France. ”

Jean Mouton

Chairman of the Nexans Group

“ "France is a country at the forefront of the challenges of electrification, with national champions that have become world leaders in the entire value chain. I am deeply convinced that our country must turn a new page in its industrial history, in order to ensure French sovereignty in electrification. At our level, we are doing this every day here in Autun, and more widely in France, by relying on our unique vertical integration model, from our metallurgy unit in Lens, our AmpaCity global innovation centre inaugurated in Lyon in 2022 and our other production sites in France. All our teams are very proud of this investment, which supports our ambition to electrify the future. ”

Guillaume Teixeira

Managing Director of Nexans France

This day was a real dive into the heart of the Autun site, with the participation of public figures. The event was attended by Marc Makhlouf – Deputy prefect, André Accary – President of the Saône et Loire Department, Marie-Claude Barnay – President of the Community of Communes of Grand Autunois Morvan / Departmental Councillor for the Autun Canton, Vincent Chauvet – Mayor of Autun, and Catherine Amiot – 4th President of Autun 2 Canton – Ecological Transition, Environment Plan, Sustainable Transport and Forests / Departmental Councillor.

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