Plans for 900-job subsea cable factory given green light by council

The high-tech, undersea cables produced by the plant will allow renewable energy to be transported thousands of miles across the world.

Subsea cable factory in Hunterston supporting 900 jobs given green light by North Ayrshire Council iStock

Plans to build a factory in Ayrshire that will support 900 jobs have been given the go-ahead by the local authority.

Essex-based firm XLCC was granted full planning permission by North Ayrshire Council for its proposed high-voltage direct current (HVDC) subsea cable manufacturing plant at Hunterston.

The company said the factory will take advantage of the growing renewables industry.

“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 said.

Along with the 900 jobs directly employed by the factory from 2025, the corporation said thousands more will be supported through the wider supply chain.

The company said its first order is for four 3,800km-long cables that will connect solar and wind power generation in the Sahara to the UK as part of the Xlinks Morocco-UK power project.

Work on the site will start in early 2024 with cable production slated for 2026.

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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