The Xlinks submarine cable electrical interconnection project linking Morocco to the United Kingdom is taking a new step. The North Ayrshire Council Planning Committee has granted full planning permission for XLCC’s high voltage direct current (HVDC) submarine cable manufacturing operations in Hunterston, Scotland.
The move marks an important milestone for the start of construction, which follows prior planning approval last year. Work on the site is scheduled to start in 2024, while cable production is scheduled for 2026.
The transformation of this derelict industrial site will create a new industry in the UK, helping to achieve global decarbonisation targets. By 2025, this plant will generate 900 jobs in the region, not to mention thousands more along the extended supply chain.
The growing demand for high voltage cables is expected to see a significant increase over the next seven years as many countries seek to expand their renewable energy source capabilities across the globe.
XLCC’s first order includes four cables with a length of 3,800 km. These cables will play a vital role in connecting renewable solar and wind energy sources from the Sahara to the UK as part of the Xlinks Morocco-UK power supply project. In addition to this major order, XLCC has also signed MoUs for other national projects.
” To successfully complete the energy transition and achieve carbon neutrality, improved global electricity transmission is essential. In other words, there can be no transition without transmission. As the demand for HVDC cables continues to grow, we are thrilled to complete such an important project in a region with a rich industrial heritage.“explained Ian Douglas, CEO of XLCC.
And to add: We thank the local community and North Ayrshire Council for their constructive involvement and support throughout the process, and look forward to working with them and other local partners to ensure the factory brings maximum benefits to Hunterston. and the wider region“.
Recall that the Xlinks Morocco-UK submarine cable electrical interconnection project will meet 8% of the UK’s electricity demand with renewable energy, thus reducing consumer bills and increasing security of supply in the process.
This initiative, aimed at diversifying energy sources and transitioning to a greener economy, will supply approximately 7 million British homes with low-cost electricity by 2030. The project should thus generate 10.5 gigawatts electricity from solar panels and wind turbines by mobilizing 150,000 hectares to house a photovoltaic solar park, wind turbines as well as the 5 GW terrestrial battery intended to store the energy produced on site.
In an interview with Britain’s The Telegraph newspaper last month, Energy Transition and Sustainable Development Minister Leila Benali said the project ” will help both countries address their energy security challenges, realize their sustainability projects, and gain flexibility and agility“.
” We need to ensure that our economic fabrics, our industrial systems, in Morocco and the UK, focus on what they do best, regardless of access to cheap, low carbon energy carbon“, she argued.