A company spokesman said that the new technique has improved the production of superconducting wire to a rate of 15m/hr, well above the 10m/hr standard required for practical commercial applications. The new wires contain the element holmium.

Sumitomo, Japan’s largest electric wire and cable producer, aims to begin marketing the new superconducting wire in three years, primarily targeting the USA market, where plans are underway to introduce superconducting transmission lines into the power grid.