XLCC, a new entrant to the power cable market, has been given planning approval to build the first HVDC subsea cable factory in the U.K.
A press release said that XLCC got the June 29 okay from the North Ayrshire Council Planning Committee for its plans to construct the factory in Hunterston, Scotland. Construction was expected to start soon at the Brownfield site, where XLCC will manufacture XLPE (cross-linked polyethylene) coated HVDC subsea cable for use in interconnector projects and export cables to bring power back to the shore from offshore wind farms.
“We look forward to delivering a factory of great local and international importance for HVDC subsea cable,” said XLCC Project Director Alan Mathers. “The U.K. will be positioned as a world leader in the green economy, with the site at Hunterston playing a key role in connecting cheap, green energy from renewables projects around the world.”
XLCC has appointed HIGHVOLT as the primary provider of test systems for the pre-qualification, type and routine testing of subsea cables. Cable testing and certification will take place in 2023 and 2024, with the first cable lengths being produced in 2025 for deployment to client projects. The company has also ordered a new cable-laying vessel to be delivered in the first half of 2025.
Once fully operational, the facility “will support 900 jobs in the area, with thousands more in the wider supply chain.” XLCC notes that it will need 60 HVDC jointers for the facility, and it is working in partnership with Ayrshire College to increase the number of PEO (Performing Engineering Operations) courses available to prospective students across Ayr, Kilmarnock and Kilwinning campuses.
XLCC has already reported its first order: four 3,800 km long cables to connect solar and wind renewable power generation in the Sahara to the U.K. for the Xlinks Morocco-U.K. power project.
The CEO of XLCC is Simon Morrish, the founder and CEO of Ground Control and Levitate Capital. He was described as an experienced investor in businesses and projects related to the electrification of energy and transport, who previously worked for McKinsey & Co., and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.