Brief History

Pirelli and General Electric formed an alliance in 1914 which led to the birth of Pirelli General and new company’s factory opened in Southampton. 10 years later the company invented the paper laminated oil filled cable and accessories system which was a significant milestone for the cable industry. In 1928 the company opened a brand new cable factory in Eastleigh, just 5 miles north of the Southampton factory.

During the 2nd world war Pirelli helped create a new method of cable installation, which increased the number of Lancaster bomber and spitfire aircrafts aiding the war effort. The company also manufactured PLUTO, pipeline under the ocean,  at the Southampton factory which transported fuel from Britain to France during the battle of Normandy.

1984 and the company received the Queen’s award for export achievement and a year later a new cross channel submarine connection between France and Great Britain was installed, this still supply’s 5% of the UK’s electricity requirement.

From 2005-2011 Pirelli sold its cable business and all assets to form a new company called Prysmian. Prysmian merged with Draka in 2011 creating the world’s largest cable manufacturing company, the Prysmian Group.

Prysmian Group has played an integral part in many large scale transmission projects including the 400kV cable system and tunnel network to help power the London 2012 Olympic Games. Prysmian is also working on the design, manufacture and installation of a 600kV submarine interconnector between Scotland and England, this is a record breaking HVDC project using both of the Prysmian Group installation ships.

Entrance to the old Southampton factory
Testing in the old Southampton site
A laying up machine in the Southampton Factory
Aerial view of the Southampton site
Aerial view of the current head office of Prysmian UK
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