North Ayrshire cable factory creating 900 jobs receives planning approval

North Ayrshire cable factory creating 900 jobs receives planning approval

The Hunterston brownfield site

North Ayrshire Council has granted full planning permission to XLCC’s high-voltage direct current (HVDC) subsea cable manufacturing operations at a brownfield site in Hunterston, Scotland.

This decision signifies a green light for construction to commence, following the outline planning permission secured last year.

The project, scheduled to start in 2024 with cable production anticipated for 2026, aims to leverage a projected six-fold surge in demand for high-voltage cables over the next seven years. This surge is largely driven by countries worldwide seeking to expand their renewable energy capacities.

XLCC’s Hunterston operations will contribute significantly to the Scottish and UK economies. By 2025, the facility is projected to provide 900 jobs locally, with the wider supply chain set to create thousands more positions.

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.”

The facility’s initial order comprises four 3,800km cables that will connect solar and wind renewable power generation in the Sahara to the UK, specifically for the Xlinks Morocco-UK power project. Additionally, XLCC has already secured memoranda of understanding for several domestic projects.

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