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XLCC obtains planning approval to build UK’s first HVDC cable factory in North Ayrshire

Updated: Apr 24

June 30, 2022

On 29th June 2022, the North Ayrshire Council Planning Committee resolved to grant planning permission for XLCC’s HVDC subsea cable manufacturing operations in Hunterston, Scotland.

Breaking ground in the coming months, the brownfield site will create a new UK industry to support global decarbonisation targets. Once fully operational, the facility will support 900 jobs in the area, with thousands more in the wider supply chain.

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.

Project Director for XLCC, Alan Mathers, said:

“We look forward to delivering a factory of great local and international importance for HVDC subsea cable. The UK 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.

We would like to thank the local community for their support during the consultation process.”

Councillor Tony Gurney, Cabinet Member for Economy and Climate Change, said:

“Hunterston is a key strategic site and one which has enormous potential for the local and the wider economy.

Now that the planning process has been carried out, we look forward to welcoming XLCC to the area. We believe this can just be the start for Hunterston and we can continue providing high value jobs and new innovation capacity in the green, blue and circular economies to realise Hunterston’s national potential as a contributor to net zero.”

To support the recruitment drive in the local area, XLCC 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. Additional Course content will be provided by MarCable Consulting and will deliver cable manufacturing fundamentals.

Gavin Murray, Assistant Principal at Ayrshire College, commented:

“Working with XLCC to deliver our new courses provides students with the potential to put their studies to use in the local area. Following successful completion of the Ayrshire College course, there will be a guaranteed interview opportunity to train as an HVDC Jointer for XLCC.”

Sixty HVDC Jointers in total will be needed for the facility. Training will include two months in a specialist facility in Germany to develop base level skills, with return to Hunterston seeing further development through on the job training, working on test lengths of cable to produce certified HVDC joints ahead of full cable production.

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