Detailed approval secured for UK’s first HVDC cable factory

Detailed approval secured for UK's first HVDC cable factory

North Ayrshire Council’s planning committee has granted full planning permission for XLCC’s HVDC subsea cable manufacturing operations in Hunterston.

The decision paves the way for construction to commence after outline planning permission was granted last year.

Having received essential management and design support from independent construction, property, and infrastructure consultancy Pick Everard, work on the site will start in early 2024 with cable production slated for 2026.

Development of the brownfield site will create a new UK industry to support global decarbonisation targets. By 2025, the facility will support 900 jobs in the area, with thousands more in the wider supply chain.

Santosh Patel, director at Pick Everard who has been working closely on the project, said: “We’re proud to be involved and at the forefront of this project, helping to create a new high tech green industry for the UK. Reaching this milestone and securing full planning permission is a huge step in realising this cutting-edge project’s potential.

“We want the HVDC cable factory to be a beacon for others and an example of commitment to supporting our country’s drive to net zero. To reach our goals, expanding our solar and wind infrastructure is crucial, and this factory will help massively in accomplishing this.”

Demand for high-voltage cables is set to increase six-fold over the next seven years, as many countries look globally to expand their sources of renewable energy. XLCC’s first order is for four 3,800km long cables to connect solar and wind renewable power generation in the Sahara to the UK for the Xlinks Morocco-UK power project. XLCC has also secured additional MOUs for domestic projects.

XLCC CEO, Ian Douglas, said: “To deliver the energy transition and achieve net zero, the improved global transmission of electricity is critical. Put simply, there can be no transition without transmission. As demand for HVDC cables continues to boom, we are excited to bring such a significant project to an area with a proud industrial pedigree.

“We thank the local community and North Ayrshire Council for their constructive engagement and support during the process, and we look forward to working with them and other local partners to ensure the factory delivers maximum benefits to Hunterston and the wider region.”

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